Christmas Eve already. It really did sneak up on me - somehow, with all my late nights and frantic busyness sewing and stitching. Funny how Thanksgiving just feels like a week or two ago.
I finished all my Christmas sewing this morning, so tonight I took a break and wrapped my little pile of gifts, and baked two cakes. I guess it was half-a-break - I love wrapping presents, but I don't like baking so much. (Ok, I lied. It was really only one cake, but I split it into two pans.)
|I only had one roll of wrapping paper. #makingitwork|
This year for Christmas the family was split into two groups, those over 12 and those 12 and under, and both groups are doing a simple book exchange. With everyone home for Christmas this year (first time in, I don't know...a while!) we needed something small that everyone could participate in, from the oldest down to the babies. Yes, the babies are giving and receiving books too! Also, the book you (or your children) are giving to someone else has to be one that you already own. (I suppose in dire cases a thrift shop run would have been acceptable...)
Sometimes it's not about the best and biggest, but the gifts that force you to think about the recipient, and what would they really like. Sometimes the perfect gift requires you to give of yourself, your time, and your own possessions. Trust me, I'm a book hoarder. But I'm giving up three of mine, and there is something very satisfying about knowing that those three books will be going to three other people, who (hopefully) will love them as much as I have!
Now. Very quickly, the cake. This is a Rare Recipe, because 1) when I cook, I typically don't use a recipe. Most of the recipes I use, I have adapted to my tastes, stored in my head, and nothing is ever the same again; 2) the only time I DO use a recipe is when I bake, and I bake strictly as needed (basically, when I want cake badly enough to have to do it myself). I don't actually like baking. It's too picky. My sister told me I should have a show called "The Grumpy Baker", because of my penchant for repeatedly voicing my dislike for the craft, as well as my constant "But whyyyy can't I just (insert shortcut here)? Why does this have to be so exact? Why can't I just throw this stuff in and be done with it?"
Well, I can. This cake is so, oh so easy, that even the Grumpy Baker doesn't complain about it. Much. ;)
Growing up we'd go to my grandparents' for Christmas dinner, and this cake would always be the star of the dessert table (in my opinion, and not a few others too).
This batter is stiff. Like a really thick pancake batter. See? I broke my wooden spoon :( Don't worry, this is not a common side effect of making this cake. But even if it was, it would still be worth it.
|What not to do.|
I like to take a little plastic baggie, stick my hand in it like a glove, grab a little chunk of softened butter, and rub it all over the dish. Then you just flip it back over your hand and throw it out! Easy, and clean.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is golden on top and not squishy in the middle. I stick a toothpick in it and if it comes out covered in batter, it needs a few more minutes.
|This one came out perfect.|
No, you don't. But you do want to ladle it generously over individual servings of your cake (pour it into a cute bowl and let your guests do it themselves) and then eat it, and then go back for seconds. And thirds.
Not that I do that.
I don't have any pictures of the sauce because I haven't made it yet - one of these cakes is for tomorrow (well, today) evening at Dave's parents' house for Christmas Eve, and the other is for my parents' house on Christmas Day, so I'll be making the sauce at the respective houses. It's better fresh, but I would never turn it down reheated either. ;)