Troy-Bumpas Cookies: Almond Joy Cookies

Almond Joy Cookies

Almond Joy Cookies

This week I baked cookies that might be considered confections more than cookies. Either way, these are delicious treats. As the name suggests, the main ingredients are similar to those in an Almond Joy candy bar: coconut and almonds. For people looking for a gluten-free or egg-free cookie, this recipe will work for you.

A few tips: Be sure to grease the baking sheet well. I prefer to cover my baking sheets with a sheet of parchment paper which, for this recipe, I spray with vegetable cooking spray. This makes clean up a breeze. These cookies freeze well, but separate layers with wax paper so the cookies don’t a stick together into one big lump! Enjoy. If you try this recipe, let me know what you thought of it! – Innkeeper Judy

 

Almond Joy Cookies

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups shredded sweetened flake coconut
45 whole almonds, plain or salted

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position the racks in the center of the oven.

In a large glass bowl, combine condensed milk, chocolate and salt. Heat on high in the microwave oven for a total of 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The chocolate should melt completely and the mixture will thicken slightly. Stir in vanilla extract and coconut and mix well.

Form cookies by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto a well-greased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Top each cookie with an almond. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, watching the cookies carefully after 8 minutes since these cookies can quickly get too brown. Immediately remove the cookies from the baking sheet with a metal spatula and cool on a wire rack that is covered with a sheet of wax paper.

Makes 45 cookies.

Troy-Bumpas Cookies: Peanut Butter Tartlets

Peanut Butter Tartlets

Peanut Butter Tartlets, a Troy-Bumpas Inn favorite

One of my favorite cookies is this recipe for Peanut Butter Tartlets that I developed when I worked as a test kitchen home economist. These little tarts are rich in peanut flavor because peanut butter appears in both the tart pastry and the filling. You’ll need mini muffin pans to make these treats. The full recipe follows these step-by-step photos.

 

Dough should be crumbly
At first, the dough should be crumbly.

Begin by making the tartlet dough. Combine the dry ingredients and then use a pastry blender to cut in the butter and peanut butter. The mixture should be crumbly.

 

Wrap the dough ball
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.

 

 

Using your hands, gently pull the mixture together to form a ball. Do not knead the dough since this will cause the tarts to become tough. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. This allows the dough to relax and firm up and also gives you time to prepare the filling. To make the filling, simply blend the ingredients together, mixing until smooth.

 

Dough formed into tarts
Form the dough into tart shells.

 

Take a rounded tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. You should be able to get 45 balls from the dough. Place each ball into the cups of mini-muffin pans. Use your fingers to hollow out the dough and form a tart shell. Be sure there are no holes in the bottom of the tartlets.

Filled tarts

Add the filling to the tarts.

 

Fill each tart shell with a tablespoon of the filling. Do not over fill. If the tarts are too full, the filling will overflow and create a mess!

Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 25 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown. Set the hot muffin pans on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Then turn the tarts out of the pan and allow them to cool completely on wire racks. These tartlets can be made ahead and freeze well. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Tartlets

Dough:
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Filling:
2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine 2-2/3 cups flour, salt, and ½ cup granulated sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 cup butter and 1/3 cup peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and ingredients are well mixed. Shape into a ball. Dough will be soft. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

While dough chills, prepare filling: In medium bowl, combine ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, 2 eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir to blend well.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

For each tartlet, place one rounded tablespoon of dough into ungreased mini muffin cups. Press and shape to form a pastry shell. Spoon one tablespoon of filling into each tart.

Bake 25 minutes or until filling is golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing; complete cooling on wire racks.

Tips for Shopping in the Furniture Capital

Here is Greensboro, we are fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” The enormous multitude of furniture retailers in and around High Point, NC, makes it easy to find places to buy home furnishings.  (For a great list of High Point area stores, visit the High Point  Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://highpoint.org/cvb/.)

The largest of these stores is Furnitureland South in Jamestown, NC. Famous for the gigantic chest of drawers in front, Furnitureland South has 1.3 million square feet of showrooms spread throughout three buildings. Merchandise from about 1,500 manufacturers is displayed in room settings and also grouped by manufacturer. Because Furnitureland South ships furniture anywhere, people come to this area from all over the country to shop for home furnishings.

To successfully shop for home furnishings when you are miles from home takes a little preparation. The following tips will help you choose furnishing that are right for your home.

  • Bring room layouts noting all room measurements including the size and location of doors and windows. Note how high off the floor windows are placed.
  • Take pictures of the current room so you can discuss things you like about the room and things you would like to improve (such as furniture placement).
  • Take photos and bring measurements of any items you plan to keep in the room. Be sure to include sentimental items that are certain to stay in the room that you might want to spotlight.
  • If available, bring samples of existing carpets and fabrics, such as window treatments and upholstery. Take photos as well. Bring color chips of wall colors, or take photos if chips are not available.
  • Bring the dimensions of hallways, doorways and stairways so you can be sure the furniture you select will actually be able to get into the house.
  • Look online and in magazines for inspiration photos of rooms, styles, artwork and patterns that you like and that make you feel good.

To prevent yourself from quickly becoming overwhelmed in a big showplace, work with one of the store’s design consultants. They will discuss your project and identify your goals and budget. Then they will help you find items that match your style and wallet without a lot of dizzying walking around!

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! If you get hungry and need a break, Furnitureland South has its own café! And, it makes sense to stay somewhere like the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast where you start the day with a great breakfast and end your long day of shopping with a relaxing whirlpool bath!

Things to Do in Greensboro: Replacements, Ltd.

One of the most popular tourist sites in the Greensboro area is Replacements, Ltd. You don’t have to be a dinnerware junky to appreciate this wonderful mega store, which is located about 15 minutes from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Like many successful businesses, Replacements, Ltd. was the brainstorm of one man with a passion for collecting beautiful things.

About 40 years ago, Bob Page, an auditor for the state of North Carolina, began collecting china and crystal as a hobby. Before long, his friends started asking him to be on the lookout for pieces of their dinnerware to replace pieces that were broken.  His bedroom soon became a makeshift office from which he fulfilled china and crystal orders. His hobby soon became his business.

In 1981, Page left his auditing job and opened Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, NC. Initially he had just one part-time assistant. Small ads placed in the backs of magazines met with tremendous response. Customer dinnerware requests were recorded on 3-by-5 inch index cards. Sales that first year were $150,000. By 1984, when the company began converting their database to computers, sales were close to $4 million. In 2008, sales exceeded $85 million. Products now include china, stoneware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless and collectibles.

Today, Replacements ships more than 50,000 items a week to customers all over the world. The company, which has the world’s largest selection of old and new dinnerware, has 500,000 square feet of modern facilities and an inventory of more than 13 million pieces. People anywhere in the world can do business with them via their website. Customers can register patterns they are interested in and receive email notifications when items become available. About 85% of Replacements’ business is done online, but for those of us lucky enough to live in  or visit the piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, Replacements is just a short drive away.

The showroom is open seven days a week (except holidays) with free tours offered daily between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Unless you take the tour, you see only a small percentage of the merchandise on display in the 12,000 square foot showroom. The showroom also includes a museum that displays rare tableware pieces in beautiful, massive antique display cabinets and counters. The top 500 china patterns are displayed in a long hallway display aptly named “The Great Wall of China.” The tour walks guests through the huge Replacements warehouse where merchandise is neatly stored. The backroom area also houses the crystal and silver restoration and repair and the shipping departments.

Wall of most popular china patternsReplacements obtains its merchandise from manufacturers and from buyers throughout the country who seek out desired patterns at estate and yard sales. Many individuals also sell dinnerware that they no longer need to Replacements.

Replacements is an easy 15 minute drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Anyone who loves china and other dinnerware is certain to enjoy the visit and likely to find something beautiful to take home.  Even if you’re not into dinnerware, it’s fascinating to see how such a well organized company operates. Replacements, Ltd.is located at 1089 Knox Road in McLeansville, NC 27301. To learn more call 1-800-REPLACE or visit www.replacements.com.

Troy-Bumpas Inn Special Packages and Discounts

Please let us know how we can help make your stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn more wonderful. We are happy to have flowers, candy or that special treat you request ready in your guestroom upon arrival or during your stay. Call or email so we can customize a package for you! (Please give us at least 3 days advance notice.) The Troy-Bumpas Inn also offers the following packages and discounts.

Corporate Rate

Corporate rates are available Sunday through Thursday nights excluding holidays and special events. Corporate rates are available for single occupancy. You must provide proof that you are traveling on local business to get this rate – innkeepers’ discretion. Please contact the innkeepers if you have questions. Corporate cancellation policy is 24 hours.

Rewards Program

For every 12 nights that you stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn, we will reward you with a free night’s stay. There’s no punch card to hold on to — we’ll do the tracking for you.

Girls’ Getaway

Take two days to spend quality time with your girlfriends, mother and/or sisters.  Have fun catching up, relaxing and laughing. Book all three rooms so you have the place to yourselves. Your group will have access to the living room, dining roshoppingom, sunroom and front porch and grounds in addition to all guest rooms.

We provide complimentary beverages and snacks each evening around 5 p.m. Gather on the front porch or in the sunroom to relax as you plan where to dine. Or, order a pizza or pick up takeout out. We’ll provide plates, cups and silverware.

Each morning we serve breakfast in our lovely wood paneled dining room at the time of your choosing between 8 and 10 a.m.

Cost is $300 per room for two consecutive nights. All three guest rooms must be booked for this package. Guest rooms can accommodate up to 2 people. We can extend check out to 12 noon on your departure day.

What is there to do? Lots! You might:

  • Browse antique shops in downtown Greensboro
  • Search for deals at nearby consignment furniture stores, such as Red Collection, the Shops on Patterson, Consignment First, and Consigned Home Furnishings.
  • Take the free tour at Replacements, Ltd., which has the world’s largest selection of old & new dinnerware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless, and collectibles.
  • See a first run movie at the Carousel Theater (1 mile away) or see a vintage film at the nearby Carolina Theater, a 1927 movie palace.
  • Shop at Friendly Center, home to more than 100 stores, located just 1.5 miles from the inn
  • Hunt for bargains at the Tanger Outlet Shops at Mebane, NC (a 45-minute drive).
  • Enjoy nature as you stroll  through the nearby Greensboro Arboretum or Greensboro Bog.

To learn more, call the innkeepers at 336-370-1660 or email us at troy-bumpasinn@triad.rr.com.

 Bridal Party Slumber Party

spring´s best bouquetBrides, spend the night before your wedding surrounded with your bridesmaids and then use the inn the next morning to dress for the wedding. This package includes all three rooms so you have the place to yourselves. Your group will have access to the living room, dining room, sunroom and front porch and grounds in addition to all guest rooms.

Check-in and gather on the front porch for a cool drink before you head to the rehearsal. Return to the inn to relax, laugh and talk! We’ll provide light late night snacks and beverages. The next morning, we’ll serve a breakfast buffet in our lovely dining room. (Mimosas available for an additional charge.) Arrange to have your hairstylist and makeup artist come to the inn to do their work in our well lit living room. You may also have your photographer come to the inn to take photos inside and out. Around noontime we will provide a light lunch in the dining room. We will extend our normal check-out time for the Nina Suite to better accommodate your schedule.

Minimum cost is $480 for a bride and up to five bridesmaids. Each additional bridesmaid is $80. We can accommodate up to 10 ladies (including the bride).

To learn more, call the innkeepers at 336-370-1660 or email us at troy-bumpasinn@triad.rr.com.

 

 

Dentzel Carousel Near Troy-Bumpas Inn

Burlington’s Beautiful Carousel

A short drive east of the Troy-Bumpas Inn is the Dentzel Carousel in City Park in Burlington, NC. The large carousel features a menagerie of beautifully hand-carved animals including 26 horses, 4 each of cats, pigs, rabbits, ostriches, and one each of a deer, giraffe, lion, and tiger. No two animals are alike.

The carousel is an historic treasure. It was built around 1906-1910 by the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia, PA. After installations at two Ohio amusement parks, the City of Burlington purchased the carousel in 1948.  The carousel and surrounding building were lovely restored from 1981-1985.

For just 75 cents, you can enjoy a ride accompanied by calliope music featuring several happy tunes from Disney movies. Visitors to the carousel include many parents with young children, but you’ll also see plenty of grown-ups enjoying a trip down memory lane! To learn more about the carousel, visit the Dentzel Carousel web site.

Greensboro’s Bog Garden at Benjamin Park

One of the hidden gems of Greensboro is the Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. This seven-acre park is tucked into an urban setting close to Greensboro’s large Friendly Center shopping complex. But what I love about the Bog Garden is the fact that while you are there, you feel as if you are in a peaceful nature preserve far removed from city life.

The garden has an elevated boardwalk and stone pathways that meander through natural wetlands. The bog is home to many wildlife species and native plants. Benches along the path make it easy to linger if time permits. But even if you only have 30 minutes or so, you can follow the main loop of the trail and escape from city life while surrounded by nature, artistic bridges, sculpture, a lake and assorted wildlife.

The Bog Garden, a short 3-mile drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn, is located at Hobbs Road and Starmount Farms Drive at Benjamin Park. You can easily park streetside at the entrance on Starmount Farms Drive, just southeast of the intersection of Hobbs Road and Starmount Farms Drive. Oh, did I mention that this lovely park is FREE! For nature lovers, this park is a must-see while you are in Greensboro. Click on the photos below to get a peak of the Bog Garden. These shots were taken during a visit in April 2012.

When the Civil War Came to the Troy-Bumpas Inn

One of the marvelous things about living and visiting the Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast is that you can stand in rooms that were briefly inhabited by Union officers who were in Greensboro in spring 1865 at the conclusion of the Civil War. Talk about bringing history to life!

We know that Union officers stayed at the Bumpass home and used a second floor room as an office in May and June 1865. And, although the Troy-Bumpas Inn has been renovated several times since being built in 1847, we have layouts of what the original house was like, so we can be fairly precise in determining where a small chapter of Civil War history took place.

The following excerpt from the book Women of Guilford County, North Carolina; A Study of Women’s Contributions 1740-1979 describes an interesting interaction between an officer under the command of General Jacob D. Cox and Frances Webb Bumpass and her children Eugenia, Duella, and Robah. The parlor described is the present-day living room; the officers were staying in the present-day Allah guest room.

Frances Bumpass at midlife“A Sgt. Sweitzer settled his troops in a meadow [also described as the apple orchard] near Frances Webb Bumpass’s home and lodged his officers in a second-story bedroom overlooking the camp. The following morning the Bumpasses had begun their regular morning prayer service when the Yankee officers were heard coming down the stairs to the parlor door. When the officers explained that they too had come from Christian homes, Mrs. Bumpass invited them in, and the family continued their morning services with the army of the occupation standing all around them.”

 

 

A Troy-Bumpas Inn Recipe: Chocolate Ecstacy Cookies

Rich Chocolate Ecstacy CookiesGuests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast can always help themselves to complimentary home-baked cookies, which are available in our second floor guest lounge. Two recent guests loved the Chocolate Ecstasy Cookies that we served in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day so much that they had to have the recipe. The main ingredient in these cookies is chocolate and the recipe calls for a mere 1/4 cup of flour. Be sure to let the cookies sit for a minute on the cookie sheet before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ecstasy Cookies

12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate morsels, divided

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate 

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of salt

2 eggs 

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup medium chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 cup of the chocolate chips, the unsweetened chocolate squares and butter until melted, stirring constantly (Or, you may melt this mixture in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven). Transfer to large mixer bowl to cool slightly. In a small separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla to cooled chocolate mixture and beat well. Add flour mixture and beat again. Stir in rest of chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Edges should be firm, and the surface should be dull and cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Troy-Bumpas Inn featured in Greensboro’s News & Record

The Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast was featured in the Life section of the Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 issue of the Greensboro News & Record.  Several of our wonderful guests agreed to be interviewed and photographed. (Thank you!!) Below are thumbnail snapshots of the article; the text of the article follows.

 

Back in Business

The historic Troy-Bumpas Inn reopens as a bed and breakfast

By Robert C. Lopez, Staff Writer

The house at 114 S. Mendenhall St. has hosted Civil War soldiers, housed college students and, these days, gives travelers a taste of the area’s history, along with place to bed down for the night with a hearty breakfast in the morning.

Judy and Larry Horn reopened the Troy-Bumpas Inn in November, taking it over from Andrea and John Wimmer who had operated it for seven years (but closed it in 2010).

“A lot of people have a dream that they’d like to have their own business or run their own company, and in a sense, that’s what we’re doing here,” said Larry Horn, a former sales director for an environmental lab. “That was definitely an attraction, being able to work for yourself.”

“We like living in older homes and all the little quirks you don’t get in modern buildings,” said Judy Horn, who used to work for a community college. “And this gives you an opportunity to live in a wonderful home and share it with other people. And of course, running it as a bed and breakfast helps defray a lot of the costs that come with living in an older home.”

The Horns, who moved to Greensboro from the Chicago suburbs last fall, live on the third floor of the Greek Revival house. The second floor serves as guest quarters and had three bedrooms, and the first floor includes a dining room, living room and office.

The Rev. Sidney Bumpass (the family later dropped the second ‘s’ in their name) built the house in 1847, shortly after arriving in Greensboro to become a presiding elder of the Methodist district.

He published a religious newsletter call The Weekly Message out of the home and was one of the original trustees of Greensboro College (then Methodist Female College) which sat adjacent to his property.

In 1851, he and his son contracted typhoid and died within a few days of each other. His wife, Frances, continued publishing the newsletter and ran an elementary school out of the house.

After the Civil War, Union troops set up their western Greensboro headquarters here, but at the insistence of Frances Bumpass, slept in an apple orchard behind the home.

Frances Bumpass’ daughters Eugenia and Duella inherited the home after she died in 1898. The house underwent at least two big renovations through the years, including one major expansion in 1911 with the intent of turning the place into a boarding house.

Duella’s daughters Ethel and Nina Troy were the last family members to live in the home. When Ethel died in 1975, she left the dwelling to Greensboro College, which turned it into student housing. The school sold the building in the early 1990s, and it was converted into a bed and breakfast-style inn.

The Horn’s used to travel quite a bit for work, and about 20 years ago, they started staying in bed and breakfasts.

“You get more personalized service at a B&B,” Larry Horn said. “You know the people who are running it. It’s more open, inviting.”

 “And I liked that they weren’t your standard cookie-cutter rooms,” Judy Horn said. “You definitely feel like you’re more in a home than you are in a hotel.”

The two long toyed with the notion or running a bed and breakfast themselves but decided to wait until they had put their kids through college and retired. They began searching in earnest for a place about a year ago and visited properties in Missouri and Kentucky before hearing about the Troy-Bumpas.

“We liked the fact that it looked like we could managed it ourselves, and we wouldn’t have to hire any additional staff,” Judy Horn said. “It was the right size for us. And we liked that we would be able to have our living quarters there on the third floor.”

“This is a beautiful area,” Larry Horn said. “And because we’re from a big city, we wanted to be in a city. Greensboro kind of fits the bill. And it was nice for use to be able to get downtown in a few minutes. We came in and just felt it was perfect and fell in love with it.”

They moved in during October. The couple said they hope to offer some murder-mystery weekends in the future and plan to plant some gardens in the spring. They’re repainted the living to make it lighter and upgraded the bathrooms, but other than that, they haven’t made any major changes.

The Horns are usually up by about 7:30 a.m. to make breakfast. On this day, French toast, sausages, and a fruit parfait are on the menu.

Pam and Allan Dorfman of Toronto are the guests. They are headed toward Savannah, Ga., and stopped in Greensboro to check out the area’s furniture stores.

“We used to do the hotel circuit but then decided to try a B&B,” Allan Dorfman said. “They tend to have a lot more personality and are able to give you a bit of history on where you’re staying. And it’s nice to have somebody welcome you.”

Guests are encouraged to explore the house and mingle with the other occupants.

“A lot of people who come here are B&B regulars,” Judy Horn said. “One thing that they thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to interact with the innkeepers. And if other guests are also in the house at the same time, you get to interact, certainly a breakfast and perhaps at other times of the day. Most people who stay at bed and breakfasts see that as an attraction.”

(Contact Robert C. Lopez at 336-691-5091 or robert.lopez@news-record.com)

Photos by Nelson Kepley, News & Record. Captions on the photos:
1) The Troy-Bumpas Inn on South Mendenhall Street in Greensboro started as a family home, then became student housing, then a bed and breakfast. It was building in 1847.

2) Judy and Larry Horn reopened the inn in November. It had been closed since 2010.

3) The Nina Suite is one of three guest rooms in the Troy-Bumpas Inn.

4) Judy Horn (left) talks with Janice and Chris Toshach of Memphis, Tenn., during their stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn.

5) Guests are encouraged to mingle with each other and explore the inn, which includes a living room with plenty of seating and a fireplace.

6) The Allah Room features floral motifs in its furnishings and paintings.