Marshall Fields Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake

A huge number of Americans—especially Chicagoans–still mourn the closing of Marshall Field’s, a long-enduring brand that not only meant quality in clothes and homegoods, but in the concept’s restaurant dishes, bakery items and confections. Many readers have contacted us in search of Marshall Field’s cookies and cakes, like this dense, rich chocolate one.

Makes One cake

Cake Ingredients
8 oz unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
6 egg yolks
8 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
8 oz ground almonds
6 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Chocolate Ganache & Garnish Ingredients
12 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream, scalded
¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted and crushed
Make cake:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks. Beat well. Blend in chocolate, then ground almonds. Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold 1/3 of egg whites into chocolate mixture. Repeat until all egg whites are folded into batter. Pour 1 ¼ lbs. of this batter into parchment lined 9-inch springform pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 to 70 minutes until cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake.
Make ganache:

Pour scalded cream over chopped chocolate. Allow to stand until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside. Invert cake, handling gently to prevent breaking. Remove parchment lining. Frost top and sides of cake with ganache. Allow to set for several hours. Press almonds around sides of cake to decorate.

Marshall Fields Seven Layer Bars

Makes 2, 11 x 17 pans

2 cups butter
6 cups crushed chocolate cookies (original recipe called for Hydrox; Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers worked well for me)
6 cups flaked sweetened coconut
6 cups chopped toasted walnuts
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cans sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350. In oven, melt 1 cup butter in each pan. Remove pans.
Pour 3 cups of chocolate crumbs into each pan and stir. Spread evenly, pressing down to make crust.
Sprinkle 3 cups coconut, 3 cups nuts, 2 cups chocolate chips over each crust. Drizzle with condensed milk. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into bars.

Marshall Field’s Chinese Chews

Makes 3 dozen cookies


2 lbs 8 oz brown sugar
6 eggs
6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 ½ cups butter
½ cup honey
1 lb 12 oz dates (one large tub) cut in small pieces
6 oz pecans, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 ¾ cups cake flour
1 tsp vanilla
¾ lb powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs. Add sugar to eggs and beat for five minutes.
Partially melt chocolate in microwave at 50% power. Add butter to chocolate and finish melting all.
Add honey and vanilla to butter/chocolate mixture and combine well. While still warm, fold this mixture into sugar/egg mixture. Add dates and nuts and fold until well incorporated. Slowly mix in flour, a little at a time.
Grease two cookie sheets well. Spread batter into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Cut into 1 ½ x ½ inch bars. (Or, scoop out walnut-sized chunks of brownie and shape into balls) Roll in powdered sugar.

Marshall Field’s Hermit Cookies

Marshall Field’s hermit cookies with mocha frosting

Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 12 minutes per batch Makes: 4 dozen

Chicagoans still mourn the conversion of Marshall Field’s to Macy’s. From myriad reader requests we received, it looks like baked goods from store’s restaurants and bake shops are among the most-missed elements. Readers Ruth Mendoza-Pavlik of Plainfield and Patty Anne Formusa of Melrose Park each wrote in search of Marshall Field’s hermit cookie. Somewhat a signature for the department store, the 3 ½-inch, nut-studded molasses cookie was spread with mocha frosting. The recipe, from 1948, changed little during the more-than-40 years it was featured. The recipe called for inverted sugar, a fine sugar used in many bakeries. We just used granulated.

1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
1/2teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 cup each: currants, raisins

Mocha icing:
5 tablespoons butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons hot coffee

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Dissolve soda in buttermilk in a small bowl; set aside. Gradually cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl; beat well. Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture; beat well. Add molasses and buttermilk mixture; beat well.
Sift together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Mix dry ingredients to wet mixture. Mix in nuts, currants and raisins. Drop dough by heaping tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes per batch. Cool on wire rack.
For frosting, cream butter, gradually adding confectioners’sugar, cocoa and salt. Add hot coffee. Beat until creamy. Spread thin coating of mocha icing on hermits.
Nutrition information

Per serving: 171 calories, 35% of calories from fat, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 87 mg sodium, 1 g fiber