This weekend MrsSigma and I got to talking about what we were looking forward to eating this year during the holidays. This might have been influenced by watching the ending of the current season of the Great British Baking Show, snacking on leftover Halloween candy, or something else entirely. She mentioned wanting a cannoli and it reminded us of a dinner earlier this year. Late this summer Jez visited us here in Austin to film his session for THWACKcamp. As part of that, we got to enjoy a dinner out with him. When Dana started talking about cannoli, Jez said he didn’t know what we were talking about.
That’s really when it hit us: as much as we could travel around the world and sample local flavors, we already have friends from all over the world in the form of this community. So, this is the request: what is your favorite dessert or sweet/savory snack recipe? Does it come with a story? Does your family make biscuits or cookies you love? What makes them special to you?
This is not a company sponsored event – this is just a Dana and I event. It’s just my wife and I thinking about expanding our recipe book with influences from around the world. The current plan is to try a few of the recipes out (neither of us are good bakers) and then the two of us possibly award a prize to our favorite recipe and/or story. If we get enough recipes to make a cookbook, great! If not, then it's still fun to share with everyone.
As all things I ask of the community, I'm willing to go first. This is one of my favorite holiday bakes. I like love a spicy cake for the holidays. In my family, the holidays normally mean cold weather, warm blankets, and hot beverages. This is still what I think of when I think about the holidays. When I got a little older an aunt gave me this recipe. I’ve made it multiple times over the years swapping in and out the raisins for walnuts, or adding a little bit of apple brandy to the mix, but the base recipe is the same. Iced or plain is has a rich spice that cuts through the winter cold. It’s my pleasure to share it with you.
- 2-1/2 cups – White flour
- 2 cups – Sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp - Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 tsp – Salt
- 1/2 tsp – Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp – Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp – Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp – Allspice
- 1-1/2 cups – Applesauce (Cinnamon or Plain to taste)
- 1/2 cup – Water
- 1/2 cup – Shortening
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup – Raisins (Optional)
- Combine dry ingredients (except raisins) in a large bowl or mixer and mix thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, melt shortening and combine with other egg, water, and applesauce.
- Add wet ingredients slowly to dry ingredients on slow mix. Once the ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
- If you would like raisins (or nuts) add them now and incorporate into the mix - do not over-mix.
- Put the mixture in the Bundt pan and place on middle rack of the oven for 60-65 minutes.
- When a knife comes away clean, remove from the oven.
- Let cool for approximately 5 minutes and then turn out on a cooling rack.
P.S. - Don't worry about converting imperial to metric or vice versa. Provide information the way you know.