A few weeks ago, Lucy Mercer approached many of the SKC frequent contributors with a proposition. Would we like to join her in participating in the Imperial Sugar "Bake it Forward" project? The project involves the procuring of an Imperial Sugar tin, filling it with goodies, and mailing it to a friend, all the while tracking the package online to see where it ends up.
I replied immediately. Count. Me. In.
Last Friday morning, I went to my front door, and there sat a box, addressed in lovely penmanship (and we thought she could only type!), to me from Lucy. My youngest child was ecstatic. A package! I let him help open it.
As soon as the seal of the outer box was broken, the lovely, holiday smell of gingerbread took over my living room. Ahhhh... :)
To anyone who hasn't made Lucy's Spicy Ginger Cookies yet, I beg you, make them. Soon. They're fantastic. I've had to hide them from my husband, twice, because he keeps finding them and scarfing them down.
The box also contained oatmeal raisin cookies, also divine. Mine never turn out as good as these are.
And now the time has come to Bake It Forward. The next lucky(?) winner will receive a box containing the tin, filled with cherry cream cheese brownies and Aunt DeeDee's famous pound cake. I'm crossing my fingers these things travel well. Don't worry...I'll pack them very carefully.
Aunt DeeDee's pound cake is a famous holiday recipe amongst my extended family and our close friends. It's been included in numerous church and community cookbooks, and it's become something of a ritual to make sure that when a bird leaves the nest, he or she has a copy of this recipe. It's a classic butter pound cake, simple to make. It's delicious on its own, but also good with a homemade chocolate or caramel sauce, fresh berries, or whipped cream.
Aunt DeeDee was my grandmother's sister (my mother's aunt). She died maybe 30 years ago, but I can't make this recipe without thinking of her, and the few scattered memories I have of her in my mind. She was an elegant lady, mother to three children, and, in my mind, always wore her Sunday best (of course, the only time I ever saw her were Easters spent in Virginia, so that may have a little something to do with that last image).
My paternal grandmother ADORED this cake. Once she got her hands on the recipe, she made it every time we went to visit her in Florida. It's always part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, but it's made throughout the year whenever members of our family gather.
You will need
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened (this is written as 8 TBSP oleo in the original recipe, but I translated)
3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 cup milk (skim will work, but whole or even 2% makes a difference)
Cream sugar, butter, and margarine until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time,* beating well after each addition. Alternate adding flour and milk, starting and finishing with flour. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan.** Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking after the first hour.
*A trick I taught my grandmother: She couldn't believe this worked, but was amazed and told all her friends about it afterward. She was complaining about having to turn off the mixer and put it down every time she needed to add an egg (she had a handheld mixer, not a stand variety). I told her she could crack all 5 eggs into a cup or pyrex measuring cup, then using just one hand, she could pour one in at a time while mixing. She didn't believe it until she tried it, but it works like a charm - they'll plop in one at a time, leaving your other hand free to mix away. I think I learned this watching Martha Stewart one day on television.
**When the cake is done, it may have a crack in the top. Do not put your cake tester in through that crack. In a perfectly baked Aunt DeeDee pound cake, there's a soft spot near the top, just under that crack, that we all call "the dough bite." It's cooked enough, just a little softer than anywhere else on the cake, and it's the best bite there is. For some reason, it will not cook to the point of testing for doneness, and if you try to "bake it out," the cake will dry out. Test for doneness in any uncracked spot for a reliable indication.
The Cherry Cheesecake Brownies recipe came from the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor cookbook. A bit of a cheat, I know, but they're delicious. The only two from-scratch brownie recipes I ever make come from this site: Lulu and Phoebe's and Lucy Mercer's. They're both fantastic.
If anyone else wants to join in the goodie swap, I don't think it's too late to be added to the list. Contact Lucy or leave a message in the comments if you'd like to participate.
(C) 2010, Lisa Kuebler`