DEAR SUN SPOTS: My daughter loves everything Pepperidge Farm makes, but we have been unable to find their layered yellow cake or their chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

We also cannot find their cookies with the chocolate on top and crunched-up pretzels and salt. We’ve had no luck so please help a girl out here. — Ethel, Lewiston

ANSWER: Readers, this is where you come in. Have you seen these long-lived Pepperidge Farm products anywhere? The chocolate fudge cake is a favorite of mine, too, so I’m invested in the answer! The last time I picked one up was at Food City in Lisbon Falls and have also spied them in other smaller grocery stores. Target and Walmart have them as well.

I fear that the vanilla layer cake has been discontinued. Has anyone seen one lately?

The cookies topped with pretzels are called Salted Pretzel Milano Slices. When I did a search online, I saw the cookies were still being made, but out of stock in some places or quite expensive, if available.

Whenever you can’t find a favorite product, always, always take the time to seek out the store manager and ask about it. Chances are it’s simply been moved or they are temporarily out of stock. It happens.

Meanwhile, here is a recipe for Milano Cookies if you want to attempt making them at home with your daughter. You can top them with other goodies besides the pretzels, if you wish!

Milano Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 1¼ cups flour with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and set aside.

Cream 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature with 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 eggwhite and 1 whole egg. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1½ tablespoons cooled melted butter. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Fit a piping bag with a large ½-inch round piping tip and fill with cookie dough. Pipe 2-inch lines of dough two inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Turn off the oven and crack open the door, leaving the cookies to crisp for about 10 to 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t get too dark at the edges. Allow to cool completely.

While the cookies are baking, heat 1¼ cups chopped dark chocolate and 1/3 cup heavy cream over a double boiler until smooth. Allow to cool completely. Drop a teaspoon of ganache on each cookie and sprinkle with the topping of our choice. This recipe makes two dozen cookies.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the request in the Nov. 24 Sun Spots for book recommendations, “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles is a charming, delightful book I highly recommend. There’s no violence in it; it’s just an entertaining, excellent story. — No name, no town

ANSWER: What fun to get some book recommendations for the long winter ahead. I do hope folks will add more books to the list!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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