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Slice of Life

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Nothing evokes nostalgia like ‘pie’

Whenever there’s a full moon, a mom-to-be has a craving or a baby boomer feels nostalgic, I get requests for “pies.”

Not your typical apple, blueberry or cherry, but rather Frito, moon and others.

I love it when I have to dig deep into the vault of “now where did I put that one-of-a kind recipe” for the old-time favorites (or facsimile) that takes us back to a time when the biggest worry we had was getting our homework in on time. The format of this column is a bit different as I’m giving a little history before each recipe.

Fritos Pie

The original recipe contained chili, cheese, onions and Fritos corn chips. It’s morphed over the years to include toppings such as sour cream, tomatoes and olives.

1 large bag of Fritos Original Corn Chips, crushed slightly

1 (15-ounce can) chili with beef (with or without beans) or homemade

1 (8-ounce) bag shredded cheese

Optional: chopped onion, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeños or sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread the crushed chips on the bottom, and then spread the chili over the top. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. To serve, top with whatever additional ingredients you choose: chopped onion, tomato, lettuce, sour cream and jalapeño. Serves 6 to 8.

Whoopie Pie (aka Moon Pie)

Traditionally Whoopie or Moon Pies are a dessert that originated in the southern United States. Basically two cake-like soft cookies (usually chocolate) filled with light, gooey whipped, marshmallow-like filling. While chocolate is a default flavor for the cookies, there are recipes that use oatmeal, peanut butter, banana and pumpkin in the cookie. A reverse Whoopie Pie is a vanilla cookie with chocolate filling.

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups flour

3/4 cup baking cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 cup buttermilk


2 cups powdered sugar

2 cups marshmallow creme

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets (or you can use parchment paper). In a bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with water and buttermilk. Drop the batter, by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 5 to7 minutes just until set. Do not overcook. Let set on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then place them on cooling racks. While the cookies are cooking and cooling, combine the powdered sugar, marshmallow cream, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined and fluffy. Spread the filling on half of the cooled cookies and then top with remaining coolies. Makes 18 to 20.

Amish Cake Pie

1 unbaked pie shell


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter or shortening

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, beaten

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


4 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

For the bottom: Mix together the cocoa, sugar, water and vanilla and set it aside.

For the top: In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together sugar and butter or shortening. Add the milk, vanilla and egg alternately and then the flour and baking powder. Mix well and then set aside.

Pour the cocoa mixture into the unbaked pie shell then pour the other mixture on top of the cocoa mixture. The chocolate mixture will seep up around the outer edges. Bake for 35 minutes or until firm. Cool and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

– Modified from – Modified from Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.