Macaroon pie serves up nostalgia; Chattanooga pop-up bars herald holidays

Photo by Melissa Hom / The Chrismapolitan is among the specialty cocktails at Miracle on Broad Street, a holiday pop-up bar opening Nov. 15 at No Hard Feelings.

What is it about vintage recipes, those from our grandmothers or old church cookbooks, that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

If you're lucky enough to have come upon a good old cookbook, perhaps in a yard sale, it may have cost no more than 50 cents, but to you it's a treasure. Or maybe a now-deceased family member kept records and files of his or her favorite recipes. I know my great-great-great-grandfather kept a list of recipes in one of his journals. I was amazed when I found that and went through it.

(READ MORE: Gone but not forgotten: People, places are tied to recipes)

I was equally amazed when I saw a Facebook post from Melanie Young, the daughter of Sonia Young, a.k.a. The Purple Lady, telling Facebook friends of finding a stack of old recipes from her momma that included one for macaroon pie.

Remember that beloved macaroon pie from Fehn's? For those of you who may not remember or are too young to know, Fehn's was a restaurant in Chattanooga that began in Riverview near where Tremont Tavern is today, then it moved to a beautiful new building on the Tennessee River near where the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is today. After that, Fehn's moved to Highway 153 before relocating to Dayton, Tennessee, where the Screen Door Café is now. That pie was a tremendous favorite of so many Chattanoogans.

(READ MORE: Fehn's 1891 House restaurant to close its doors for good)

So thinking about Melanie's post on Facebook, I Googled "macaroon pie" and — lo and behold — the first recipe to come up was Fehn's macaroon pie. What a delicious surprise!

I had everything I needed to make it except for the dates, and those weren't at all hard to find. Once that shopping task was accomplished, I got to work and never realized how easy it was to make Fehn's famous pie. There's no crust to make because the baking process creates a crust that surrounds the pie. Simply mix all the ingredients together, put it in a pie pan then put it in the oven.

This is a vintage pie that has its place in today's kitchens. It's a dessert that every busy cook can appreciate. It's also a very forgiving pie. I added a handful of dried cherries and some chocolate chips without changing the amounts of any other ingredients, and it came out beautifully.

Fehn's Macaroon Pie

1 cup chopped pecans

12 saltine crackers, broken

10-12 dates, chopped fine

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 egg whites

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Mix together the pecans, crackers, dates, sugar, baking powder and almond extract. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold into mixture. Put in well-buttered pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream.


Two popular pop-up bars are returning to Chattanooga for the upcoming holiday season, one of which starts spreading holiday cheer next week.

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 15, Miracle on Broad Street will open at No Hard Feelings, 806 Broad St. This downtown bar serves clever drinks year-round, but with Miracle on Broad Street, patrons can enjoy some favorites from the past, such as the Chrismapolitan, Jingle Balls Nog and Naughty Shot. Miracle on Broad Street will be serving 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

At the end of the season, Miracle will donate 10% of all proceeds from the sale of Santa Pants, Christmas Carol Barrel and Santa Heads signature glassware to the Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit eye care organization.

The second pop-up bar, Sippin' Santa, will open Friday, Dec. 1, at Bless Yer Heart, 233 E. M.L. King Blvd. Favorite cocktails include Ho Ho Hot Buttered Rum, Merry Spritzmas and Jingle Bird. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Both pop-ups will be open for business through New Years Eve.

Contact Anne Braly at or