Twila Beckman likes to share cookies with grandchildren Sydney Renning, Cody Davis, Peyton Renning and Desiree Davis.
Twila Beckman likes to share cookies with grandchildren Sydney Renning, Cody Davis, Peyton Renning and Desiree Davis.
Monday, August 16, 2010

School supplies are on the shelves and students and parents are getting ready for a new school year to begin.

Twila Beckman, a Carroll grandmother, is also ready for school to start, as she is an expert at baking after school treats. Her “school supplies” — flour, sugar, and eggs — will need to be replenished throughout the school year. She has been baking her well-known chocolate chip cookies and brownies since she was in high school.

Twila is fortunate to have her four grandchildren nearby and is lucky to spend a lot of quality time with them. One of her favorite things to do is to bake treats to keep on hand for hungry grandkids to munch at the end of the school day.

Twila started baking after- school treats for her two daughters and has continued the tradition with her grandkids. Twila’s oldest daughter, Sheri Davis and her husband, Monty, live in Carroll with their two children, Desiree, who will be a freshman in college at Midland Lutheran College, in Fremont, Neb., and Cody, who will be a freshman at Carroll High. Sheri is a hairstylist at Barb’s Little Clipper and Monty works at American Athletic, Inc. in Jefferson. Her other daughter, Kim Renning, and her husband, Marc, also live in Carroll. Kim works for Carroll Community Schools and Marc coordinates the UNI-DMACC 2+2 Program in Carroll. They also have two children, Peyton, who will start eighth grade, and Sydney, who will be in sixth grade, both at Carroll Middle School.

Many of Twila’s after- school treats are equally as popular with adults. She and her husband, Larry, who have been married for almost 48 years, take turns hosting Monday Night Football get-togethers with four other couples. She also enjoys taking treats to the office of accountant, Verna Frank, where she has worked for over 30 years. Although she and Larry are both “retired,” they both still work two days a week. Larry delivers parts for O’Halloran International in Carroll.

Larry and Twila met the summer after high school. They grew up just seven miles apart, but never knew each other since Twila attended school in Lohrville and Larry attended school in the Lake City. After they married, Twila took pride in packing Larry’s lunch, always making sure to include a home baked treat in his lunch pail.  Often times his lunches included sandwiches made on homemade bread.

Twila credits her baking skills to her mother, Beulah Humm, of Carroll, and her late maternal grandmother, Sadie Young, who lived in Kansas. She said her mother and grandmother were very patient with her and “let me mess around in the kitchen.” Twila was raised in the country and enjoyed tending garden and canning seasonal fruits and vegetables up until 2004 when her parents sold the family acreage.

The following recipes are some of Twila’s “old stand bys.” These are treats that were requested by her daughters growing up, as well as some of her grandkids’ favorites. Twila enjoys bringing treats to picnics and family events. She also sends them in care packages to loved ones away from home. There’s no doubt Twila’s granddaughter, Desiree, will receive a care package at college this fall, most likely making her very popular with her new friends.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is at least 50 years old and it has also traveled around the world. Twila made these cookies several times for her nephew, Kerry Newbanks, a 1988 Carroll High graduate now living in Boone and teaching at DMACC. Newbanks served in Afghanistan with the National Guard and received these cookies in much appreciated care packages. Twila packed the cookies in Ziploc bags and filled the box with popped popcorn. It is a basic chocolate chip cookie dough that is a bit crumbly before baking. Twila uses a cookie scoop to divide up the dough that creates a cookie that is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This recipe makes enough to freeze, as it will yield up to five dozen.

2 cups oil
1½  cup white   sugar
1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
4 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-12 oz. package chocolate chips
Mix together.  Mixture will be rather crumbly
Bake 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until light brown
Makes 5 dozen

My Favorite Brownies

These cake-like brownies have been in Twila’s family for many, many years. These were often requested by her daughter, Kim, as a treat for her friends who would come over after basketball practice. She would ask her mother to have a batch of brownies and a gallon of milk waiting for them. The creamy icing is very rich and makes enough for two batches of brownies. She refrigerates the icing until she is ready to make another batch and them microwaves it for a short time to make it easier to spread. The icing is equally as good on Twila’s homemade chocolate cake or any chocolate cake. Twila almost never uses cake or brownie mixes. She prefers to use her tried and true recipes and her family agrees.

Cream together -
2 sticks oleo
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
½ cups cocoa
1 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Spread on 10” x 15” pan and bake at 325 degrees for 20 min.
Frosting for brownies
Boil together 1 minute-
6 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick oleo
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix until smooth with electric mixer.

Chocolate Crinkles

This cookie is a simple recipe that gets the name from the cracks that form after baking. Twila first chills the dough overnight, then rolls the dough into balls, and then rolls each ball in powdered sugar before baking. It uses four squares of unsweetened chocolate to give it just enough sweetness to satisfy even a chocolate lover’s craving.

½ cup oil
4 squares unsweetened chocolate melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
Mix oil, chocolate, and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mixture will be soft until chilled.  Chill several hours or overnight.
Shape in balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Makes 3 ½ dozen.

Brownie Goody Bars

Twila was given this recipe by a friend and it’s been “a keeper” ever since. The recipe calls for a Betty Crocker brownie mix, but Twila prefers to use her own brownie recipe, baking it in a cake pan for an hour before adding the second and third layers. Vanilla frosting and chopped salted peanuts make up the middle layer. Finally a layer of melted chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies are combined to spread on top. This triple layer bar is known for its gooey goodness and is popular among children and adults. Twila said these bars freeze well, but at her house, they don’t last long.

1 box (l lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix-
Water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1 container (1 lb.) Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
¾ cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray or shortening.
Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13 x 9 pan using water, oil, and eggs.
Cool completely, about l hour.
Frost brownies with frosting.  Sprinkle with peanuts.  Refrigerate while making cereal mixture.
Measure cereal into large bowl.  Set aside.  In 1 quart saucepan (or microwave) melt peanut butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly.  Pour over cereal in bowl, stirring until evenly coated.  Spread over frosted brownies.  Cool completely before cutting-about l hour.

Potato Chip Cookies

These unusual cookies pack a nutty crunch that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Twila saves the crumbs in the bottom of bags of plain potato chip and puts them in the freezer. When she has one hand a half cups of crushed potato chips, she has enough to make a batch of cookies, which is two to three dozen. She said they have a sort of a nutty flavor, so they are a great choice for those with a nut allergy. She said her grandkids don’t like her to add nuts to any of her treats, but nuts would be a welcome addition to any of the cookies or brownies.

1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup oleo
2 egg yolks beaten
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cup crushed potato chips
Mix. Roll in small balls and press down.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.