A sweet find

Illustration By Mark Stivers

The other day, in cleaning out my office, I happened upon a recipe headed “Busy Clubwoman’s Dessert,” evidently torn from some sort of ladies-auxiliary newsletter from Butte County (where I’m from), circa the 1950s. It must have belonged to my grandmother—a busy clubwoman if ever there was one. It’s basically an icebox cake, consisting of layers of vanilla-spiked whipped cream, crushed Heath bars (it calls for seven 5-cent bars) and ladyfingers. Icebox cakes went out of style a long time ago, but styles in food inevitably circle back around, and this is just an earlier generation’s semi-homemade fare. That generation’s elegant “congealed salad” may, to us, be nothing more than a dated Jell-O mold, but who can resist the charms of crushed Heath bars? (Not Ben & Jerry, that’s for sure.) I’m no clubwoman, but as soon as someone tells me where to buy 5-cent candy bars, I think I’ll make this dessert.