During the 1950s a constant item in the kitchen cabinets was a box of Bisquick. It was packaged in a bright yellow waxed paper lined box with photos of baked goods and a dark blue banner with the product name in white on the outside. The box back and sides had recipes using the baking mix for biscuits and other baked goods. The only way my Mother could make biscuits, scones, shortcakes, dumplings, pancakes and coffee cakes was by using the contents of that box. She was positive that without the magic in the box of Bisquick she would fail horribly and not live up to the reputation of my Dad’s aunt, who was an exceptional cook, according to my Dad.
Growing up with the mystery in a box determined the way I learned to bake. The lingering thought that I’d fail if I didn’t use that magical commercial product hindered experimentation and kept me from seeking to bake even the simplest baked goods from scratch until the need to economize forced me to decipher the mystery.
A bag of flour was much cheaper per cup than a box of commercial baking mix. Baking powder, salt and shortening were not that expensive either. All one needed to do was put them together with a few other ingredients to obtain success. I began reading every recipe for biscuits I could find and decided that I could use the baking mix box recipes without needing the baking mix. It was a wonderfully liberating discovery.
All that is needed per 1 cup of flour is 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt. For each cup of flour I added 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter, shortening or cooking oil with the liquid called for in the recipe. Cold butter or solid vegetable shortening should be cut into the dry ingredients before adding the liquid. As long as you knew that basic and easy to remember formula it is possible to bake or cook any recipe that calls for the use of a baking mix.
One of the recipes my Mother made often was Deviled Ham Triangles. We’d have them for lunch and sometimes derved along with soup for dinner.
Deviled Ham Triangles
The recipe is from “The Bisquick Party Book” published in the 1950s. I changed the recipe so the baking mix isn’t needed.
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons of solid shortening or cold butter
- 2/3 cup of cold milk
- 2 1/3 oz. can of deviled ham
- 2 tablespoons of cream
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix the canned deviled ham with the cream. Set aside.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in the solid shortening or cold butter using a pastry cutter or two knifes. Add the milk and mix until the dough cleans the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times. Roll the dough into a 15 inch square. Cut the dough into five 2 inch squares. Place the squares on an ungreased baking sheet. Spoon the filling onto each square. Make a triangle by folding one half over the other so top edge slightly overhangs. Press the edges with a fork to seal.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Other pre-cooked fillings can be used such as hamburger with onion and cheese.
Tuna, chicken and other sandwich fillings can be used. Also thin sliced lunch meat. Add some cheese.
The recipe is easily doubled.
A can of potted meat can be used instead of the deviled ham. Add some dry mustard and other seasonings to taste.
Leftovers must be stored in the refrigerator.
Reheat leftovers in the oven wrapped in foil or wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave (avout 38 seconds).