Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

December 31, 2010
Irene Saiger


White Strudel

I attended P.S.115, also called E.B.B., Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from K-8.  It was a co-ed elementary school but once we hit middle school the boys were transferred out, and E.B.B was dubbed “everything but boys.”  The school was walking distance from where we lived but there was a crossing guard, a flaming red-head named Irene, to escort the children across the Grand Concourse.  Every morning at 10:00 a.m. classes came to a halt and snack was served.  The teacher, along with a class monitor, would go to the office and bring back a flat of small milk containers and either a box of cookies or a container of pretzel rods.  As much as I liked the pretzel rods, I preferred the cookies.  I can only remember one type of cookie being served, a sandwich cookie with a cream filled center, the top half chocolate and the bottom vanilla.

School was over at 3:00 p.m. and when I arrived home I was served milk and cookies as my afternoon snack. (remember in the 1950s milk was thought to be a miracle food)  The little white bakery bag on the kitchen table held either a Black and White cookie, a brownie with walnuts and chocolate frosting, or a Chinese cookie which was a marbled coffee-colored cookie with a crinkle top and a glob of hard chocolate in the center.  Having milk and cookies at home was always better than at school, the milk was served in a tall glass, straight from the fridge and ice-cold, the way I prefer it.  The cookies were bought fresh every morning in the bakery my mother frequented on Burnside Avenue.  It didn’t seem to matter what season it was, or how low the temperature fell outside, both in school and at home the snack was always the same, and after all what could be better than milk and cookies?

This recipe came from Norm’s grandmother Shaindle Rose, who my daughter Shira is named after.  It is a very 1950s kind of recipe which includes bits of the confection Turkish Delight.  My mother-in-law Lil made it the last time we were in Toronto and told me that Bubbie Shaindle called it White Strudel.
Bubbie Shaindle’s White Strudel

4 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup Crisco

1/2 cup oil

rind of a lemon



Strawberry jam

7 or 8 thin slices of  Turkish Delight, cut into bits

Flaked coconut

Maraschino cherries, cut in half

Golden raisins

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Using a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers, add the Crisco until the mixture resembles small lumps.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the wet ingredients.  Mix gently and add flour if needed. Dough will be very sticky.  Refrigerate dough for one hour which will make it easier to handle but feel free to add extra flour as needed.  Divide the dough into four equal portions.  Roll out one portion at a time on a well floured board into a 9 x 12 rectangle.

Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam over the dough. Then sprinkle Turkish delight, coconut, golden raisins and sliced maraschino cherries over the top.  Using a knife for easier handling, and add more flour as needed, gently roll up dough into a log and place on baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Cool and slice with a serrated knife.




14 thoughts on “White Strudel

  1. Pingback: Three Doughs, Infinite Possibilities: Old World Mock Strudel « Pragmatic Attic

  2. My husband’s grandmother made a strudel like this, and I tried to make it, but I wasn’t completely sure what it was supposed to be like (the recipe was a bit vague . . .). I am going to compare her recipe to this–maybe I will finally get it right!

    • Hi,

      Just remember that this dough is very sticky. Don’t worry about adding more flour till it is the right consistency. I would love to hear if you try it!!

      Thanks for commenting,

      • Argghh. I just checked the recipe from my husband’s grandmother and remembered why I had the problem. The dough recipe is different (hot water in addition to the orange juice, less oil), the shaping is different, and the filling has tons of canned cherry pie filling, plus canned crushed pineapple. A much wetter filling. Don’t tell my husband, but your recipe looks better!
        BTW, I am giving you the Stylish Blogger award.

  3. Hi, Irene.

    Ah…. the good old days when all we had to do was go to school and mommy did everything at home. I also remember the cinammon topped coffee cake that mommy bought at the supermarket. And Hostess cupcakes and devil dogs. But the cookies from the G&R bakery were the best. Thank you for the memories.

    Love, Anita

  4. Hi Irene
    Just read your latest posting on White Strudel. My favorite thing about your postings is all the memories they bring back for me. I had not thought about those little containers of milk that showed up in class each day in so long. It’s interesting to think we received that in public school.

    I also loved your mention of the Chinese cookies. They were my favorite and I never meet anyone who recalls them. We will be in New York City in two weeks. I need to try to find some.

    My best to you and your family in the coming year.


    • Hi Elayne,

      Happy New Year!! Pretty amazing that they served us all milk and cookies. Did we have to pay, I can’t remember? I would love to hear about your trip. If you have a chance and go to the bakery, see if they know why they were called that. It would be fun to know.

      Same to you!

  5. This was a highly entertaining look into your past, Irene! But tell me – what IS Turkish Delight? It sounds like something that would be painted on the window advertising of a massage parlor!

  6. As I have said before my mother was a wonderful cook and baker. She made strudel that was the very BEST. She would cover the dining room table with a bed sheet and stretch the strudel dough until it hung over the sides of the table. It really was to die for. Alas I do not have her recipe for the dough (or the koyech to ever attempt to make it)

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: