Drunken Spice Cake

I opened up my cupboard last weekend and saw that I had yellow cake mix. I am starting to think that I have short term memory loss, as I cannot remember why I bought it. Anyway, it was the base for this week’s experiment that ended up going to work in a waft of cinnamon-scented goodness.
Even after all of the pins that are on my “Cakes and Pies” board on Pinterest, I still found this new recipe here: http://itsthelittlethingsblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/monogram-monday-crack-cake.html

What You Need
For the Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small box vanilla pudding instant mix
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup white wine

For the glaze:
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine

And Here’s What You Do
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all above ingredients together
3. Pour into a Bundt pan
4. Bake for one hour

When the cake comes out of the oven, melt 1 stick of butter into 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of white wine. Pour directly into the pan on top of the still-hot cake. Let cool completely before removing.

photo 1

Let’s talk a minute on Bundt pans. I’m not sure why I have two, or even where they came from, but I have them. I think my mom had four or five, all pretty much the same size and shape. I’ve seen some gorgeous pans out there that make beautiful cakes. And I do like the way they turn out. However, I have yet to master the art of getting a cake out of one of these without somehow damaging the cake. They’ve stuck to the bottom, they’ve left their entire top level inside the pan, etc. When I am successful, it is because I’ve oiled and floured the thing to within an inch of it’s usefulness, and end up with uncooked flour bits all over my finished cake (which I end up brushing off with a pastry brush). If anyone has the secret to this, can you let me know?

Anyway, back to the cake. The recipe says to bake for an hour. However, I kept an eye on my oven, and my cake was done at about 40 minutes. Now, the oven had been cleaned the day before, so I suppose that it is possible that the extra-super-clean insides make the cake bake faster. However, I haven’t seen this phenomena repeated in the past week, so it’s tough to say.

I mixed all of this by hand – Just me, the bowl, and a big old spoon. Since I had to mix everything by hand in the days before my hand mixer and the stand mixer, it makes me appreciate the appliance that make our lives just a little easier. And sometimes I just don’t want to haul the stand mixer in from the garage (teeny kitchen does not make for lots of counter space).

However, even if this cake did lose a little bit of it’s top to the bottom of the pan, it still turned out quite delicious. I took this in last Monday, the same day that we welcomed a new coworker. After eating a piece, he asked me what new thing I had made for him every day. Great, I’ve created a monster…

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love, and Cupcakes


A Tale of Two Cookies

It’s 2 am Christmas night, and I can’t sleep.  So, what do I do to pass the time?  I update my much-neglected blog (as of late).  I’m not quite sure why Christmas snuck up on me this year.  I know when it happens, there was no reason for me to be disorganized…Plus, there was a trip to New York City thrown in there, and working a lot of hours…and now I’m just making excuses…

Anyway, last week, Scott started his “cookie-a-day” week at work, and we kicked it off with this recipe.  I pitched in and helped him by putting this recipe together.  When he saw how many it made, he decided to put a batch together so he could have a few more, and I could take some to work as well.

Interestingly enough, both batches turned out completely different.  Mine were flatter and chewier, his were puffy and didn’t spread on the cookie sheet.  He thinks he didn’t put the right amount of shortening in, but he can’t be sure.

This recipe came from the Food Network’s website.  They are Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies.  Recipe can also be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/paulas-loaded-oatmeal-cookies-recipe2/index.html

What You Need:

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup vegetable shortening

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup quick-cooking oats

½ cup raisins

¾ cup chopped walnuts

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease one or more cookie sheets
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy.  Add egg and beat until mixture is light in color.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture.  Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

This recipe also calls for drizzling the cookies with a Brown Butter Icing.  I decided to leave that off since I didn’t think that the cookies needed it.  If you want the recipe, please follow the link above.

What I Did:

First of all, I left out the allspice.  I didn’t have any on-hand, and the substitute I found was a mixture of ingredients that were already in the cookie.  Since the allspice is more for flavor anyway, I thought it safe to omit.  Luckily, I was right.  When I was putting my batch together, it started to smell like gingerbread.  Mmmmm…gingerbread…

Anyway, the recipe says that it makes 3 ½ dozen.  That’s really not accurate. I followed the recipe when it came to portioning out the cookies, and after doubling the recipe, I only had about 4 dozen.  Hence the reason why Scott made more.  His came out about the same number as well, and he even used the   cookie scoop where I used a teaspoon measuring spoon.

By the way, here’s the visual comparison between mine:

My cookies

And his:

His Cookie


I thought they were tasty (they were really good warm), and the people at work seemed to like them (even though a few were kinda hating on the fact that they were oatmeal.  What is it that people have against oatmeal cookies???).  I know the people at Scott’s work liked them.

I don’t think I will keep this recipe.  I know of better oatmeal cookie recipes.  This is more of a Christmas cookie anyway, and Lord knows I have enough of those that I want to try!

Merry Christmas!


Peace, Love and Cupcakes

P.S.  Here’s a picture of a cannoli that we ate in this restaurant in Little Italy.  It’s on the corner of Hester and Mulberry.  It’s called Cafe Napoli.  It’s amazing!  If you are ever in New York, you absolutely MUST EAT THERE!

Cannoli goodness