Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce

My sister and I both baked pie pumpkins and made homemade pies for Thanksgiving. My sister had extra that she froze and decided to make a pumpkin cake recipe that we had in one of our parenting magazines and brought it up to our place for Christmas. However, with all the treats that we had, we never ended up having it while everyone was here. So, she was gracious enough to leave a few pieces for us and I made the caramel sauce for Sean and I to have a treat one evening. It was a nice moist cake which wasn't overpowered with pumpkin. The caramel sauce was flavoured with apple cider and was the perfect compliment. It would be a great Thanksgiving dessert next year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monkey Bread or Plucketts?

Many people commonly know this breakfast/dessert as monkey bread, including my husbands' family. However, we grew up calling it plucketts as you "pluck" the pieces of bread to eat. I have to admit that I've never actually made it myself, but I have assisted my mum in making it many times. It's essentially dough, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon that are mixed all together and pressed into a bundt pan. I've seen cooking stores selling "monkey bread pans," but a bundt pan works just fine and gives it a nice shape. Mum always put walnuts in the bottom of the bundt pan so when you turned it out after baking it would be adorned with sugary walnuts. Mum brought this over the day after Christmas for all of us to enjoy while we were prepping for lunch that day.

Plucketts were one of those treats we had on a weekend growing up, like having homemade cinnamon rolls every once in a while. In fact, mum and I took at cinnamon roll class at Meijer Gardens recently, but they were gone before I could snap any photos to share.

Did your family have a tradition of making this and what did you call it?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cookies and Milk

We've all tried many different types of chocolate chip cookies, but the recipe I have seems to surpass any that I can recollect. It's perfectly chewy on the inside and crispy around the edges. And, of course, it's best warm with melting chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli this time). I think the idyllic texture is due to the use of shortening. I tend to bake with butter instead of Crisco, but I have it in the pantry specifically for this recipe. I'm not sure where the recipe originated either, but I wrote it on a recipe card from somewhere. The recipe makes three dozen and it's not that great to have so many cookies around waiting to be eaten, so I tend to make a full batch and freeze several small packets that will make 6-12 cookies so I can bake them in a pinch for the two of us to have a treat or if we have company. Ah...gooey warm cookies with a tall glass of cold milk!