Food Column: Send your Ham BBQ recipes; Apricot Cold Dough Cookies are here

In May, we ran a story about the foods from this region that displaced Pittsburghers miss most from this region. Reader Eileen Ross of Cheswick responded to the story thusly: "It would have been fun to include recipes for Ham BBQs. My mother makes them whenever we have visitors from out of Pittsburgh visiting here. It seems like every family has a different variation for this local sandwich delicacy. I've seen recipes containing Coca Cola, brown sugar, hot sauce, etc. All very good. You should have readers submit recipes for their BBQ sandwiches."

Great idea, Eileen. So, readers, here's your chance: E-mail me your recipes or ideas for Chipped Ham BBQ. You can send me your "secret ingredient" or a full recipe -- your choice. We'll see what we get, and we'll pass it along to you. I'm not guaranteeing we'll name the best Chipped Ham BBQ recipe of all time. But we'll swap a few ideas amongst ourselves, anyhow.

Email me at or mail to Food, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Please include your first and last name and where you live.

Other contest news

Burgers: Giant Eagle will announce the winners of its annual Best Burger Contest at 1 p.m. Saturday at all Market District locations. The announcement will be part of "Big Burger Bash" festivities, including summer food samples, live music, giveaways and children's activities from noon to 4 p.m.

Cookie table: Anna Marie Roberts of Belle Vernon won the Virtual Cookie Table competition held June 23 at Heinz History Center's Hometown-Homegrown expo.

She and her recipe for Apricot Cold Dough Cookies will be featured on an October episode of "QED Cooks" featuring Pittsburgh's cookie table phenomenon.

When Ms. Roberts married her husband, he asked his grandma, Susan Valo, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia, to teach his new bride how to bake her special cookies.

"After 46 years of marriage, I am still making these tasty homemade cookies during holidays and special occasions," Ms. Roberts said. She made them for her four children's weddings and is now teaching her 10-year-old granddaughter how to make them.

Snack photos: Through Dec. 31, submit your photos of how you enjoy Snyder of Berlin snacks in the spring, summer and fall. Grand prize is a new camera and $1,000 cash; three runners-up will get $500 cash. Monthly winners will get a Snyder of Berlin Party Pack of snacks.


Edible Flowers Food Fest: Pick your petals and eat them, too. This year's menu includes beef with roses et poivre, tofu spread with nasturtiums, peach lavender jam, anise hyssop pizza, chicken mole with rose hips, rose petal ice cream and more. Penn State Master Preserver Susan Marquesen will speak. 7:30 p.m. July 19 at the Buffalo Inn in South Park. $20 per person. Reservations are required; 412-835-1201 or


Pickles: Join Slow Food Pittsburgh for a pickle-making class at 1 p.m. July 15 at Fern Hollow Nature Center, Sewickley Heights. Everyone will make a pint of "Grandma's Dills," plus watch the following demos: pickled turnips, sweet and sour cherries, and zucchini pickles. $20 includes lunch of bread and cheese, pickle tastings and salad. $20. Register by e-mailing

Read about more events at

Greek Food Festival: Greek food, music, Greek band, dancing and church tours. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 18-19 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 20- to 21 at Holy Trinity, Ambridge. 724-266-5336. cqhf

Melissa d'Arabian: The host of Food Network's "Ten Dollar Dinners" will demonstrate how to save money and stretch ingredients to make tasty home-cooked meals. 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Market District, Pine. Free, but register ahead at

Canning webcast: Ball, the home canning products company, hosts a live webcast of canning demos and fresh preserving techniques from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14 on its Website, During the webcast, viewers can ask questions and post comments to be answered by canning experts. Register ahead online.

Apricot Cold Dough Cookies

For the filling
  • 1 pound dried apricots
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
For the dough
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Granulated sugar

For filling, place filling ingredients in a pot in stovetop and bring to a boil. Simmer until apricots are soft, about 15 minutes. Puree the mixture in a food processor and let cool.

For dough, cut butter and cream cheese into flour in a bowl until the mixture resembles pie dough. Chill for 1 hour. Divide dough into four equal parts. Roll each segment of dough in granulated sugar. Roll dough flat and then cut into 3-inch squares. Dab a teaspoonful of apricot filling onto each dough square. Fold 2 opposite corners of square diagonally to meet in the middle and pinch to seal. Roll each cookie in granulated sugar again. Place cookies on nonstick cookie sheets.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake cookies for 5 minutes on bottom oven rack and then 5 minutes on top rack until light brown. Sprinkle with sugar and let cool.

-- Anna Marie Roberts, Bellevue

Rebecca Sodergren:


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