Monday, April 30, 2012

Raspberry White-Chocolate Bread Pudding . . . and a Gift Certificate Giveaway from Blog2Print!

I have two good things to share today. One is a raspberry white-chocolate bread pudding, and the second is a very special giveaway. Imagine my delighted surprise last week when I opened an email from Blog-2-Print, inquiring if I'd have any interest in sponsoring the giveaway of a $35 gift certificate! It will come as no surprise to you that I responded in the affirmative. Yes! Yes!

Are you familiar with Blog-2-Print? If you have a blog yourself (or perhaps you have a friend who does?), you owe it to yourself to get familiar. Blog-2-Print is a service that allows you to make a bound book from a range of your blog's posts, in paperback or hardcover, via their incredibly easy-to-use website. The entire assembly process, from the blogger's standpoint, takes just a few minutes and it literally could not be more user-friendly. Anyone can give the blog-to-book assembly process a free trial run by visiting B2P's website. It's extremely fun to see what your blog would look like as a book, and to flip through it virtually, page by page, with no commitment at all.

Okay, so let's say you decide to actually make a book and place your order. Then what? Well, before you know it your shiny new volume is delivered to you, safe and sound. Expect your heart to skip a beat as you slide it out of the package, inhale that classic new-book aroma, and reverently page through your very own creation. I can tell you this with first-hand certainty because a couple of years ago I gave Blog2Print a whirl myself, using their service to compile a sleek volume covering three months' worth of my own blog's entries. I was especially pleased with the bright color and clarity of the photos, the quality of the paper, and the strong, tight binding. According to Julie, my friendly contact person at Blog2Print, a $35 gift certificate will allow for the production of a paperback book of about 77 pages or a 48 page hardcover. (I'm looking forward to making a new book, too, since Blog2Print generously offered to provide me, as well as our winner, with a $35 gift certificate--woo hoo! Thank you so very much, B2P!)

To enter this giveaway . . .

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment on this post telling me why you'd like to make your blog into an actual book. And, please leave a name of some sort in your comment, okay? (Don't just call yourself "anonymous," because I know you're not really anonymous anyway--you're most definitely someone worth knowing.) Entrants can be from any country--there are no geographic restrictions, so I've been told by Blog2Print. I will announce the winner on Friday, May 4th, and ask that person to contact me via email. I will then provide that lucky individual with instructions so they can retrieve their $35 gift certificate from B2P. So simple . . . yes? Okay, then, we're good to go.

About this recipe . . .

This is an original, non-adapted recipe. I made it using day old Italian bread from a little local bakery, but if you prefer to use a homemade loaf, here's the link to my own favorite Italian bread recipe from a past post; if you use it to make your own bread for the bread pudding, just be sure to leave out the herbs and garlic, and consider substituting melted butter for the olive oil.

I suggest you indulge in a warm serving of this bread pudding topped with a soft dollop of whipped cream. As my dad always used to say, after eating something especially satisfying that my mom had served him, this humble dessert "really hits the spot."

Raspberry White-Chocolate Bread Pudding

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

Preheat oven to 350, and generously butter a small casserole dish (mine was about 9" x 9" and 2" deep; I recommend using a clear glass dish so you can easily tell if the bottom of the pudding is fully baked before removing it from the oven).

12 oz. frozen raspberries, or about two cups fresh
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 water

In a sauce pan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and water. Cook over a medium flame until the mixture just comes to a gentle boil; lower the heat, stirring periodically, and let it simmer until it thickens and has reduced by about one third. It should look like raspberry jam that's not terribly thick when it's ready. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

6 to 7 large slices of day-old Italian bread, cut into large bite-size chunks (I left the crust on. If you prefer not to use the crust, you'll need a couple of more slices and you may want to consider reducing the amount of milk in the recipe a bit.)
1 cup half & half
2/3 cup milk

3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt

3/4 of grated/shredded white chocolate, or 1/2 cup of mini-white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the half & half, milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, and salt.

Spread half of the bread chunks in your buttered dish. Drizzle half of the milk mixture evenly over the bread, and then pour half of the raspberry sauce evenly over that. Sprinkle with half of the shredded white chocolate. Using the rest of the bread chunks, spread another layer on top. Drizzle with the remaining liquid, and pour the rest of the raspberry sauce over that. Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded white chocolate.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it sit for about twenty minutes before baking; this will allow the bread to absorb some of the liquid. (If you want to delay baking your pudding, you can refrigerate it at this point and bake it within a few hours.)

Bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the top and bottom  look lightly golden and no longer obviously wet. Check it at about 25 minutes; if the pudding seems to be browning on the top too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.

While the baked pudding is cooling on a rack, whip some cream to serve along with it. The pudding is best served warm, not steaming hot. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, please click on the purple COMMENTS below.)

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Secret Recipe Club

Can you believe it is Secret Recipe Club time again?  The time is just flying by and I am so sad that I have not had a post in over a month.  I am only five weeks away from a full summer off which means lots of cooking and lots of fun with my family.  I can hardly wait!

OK, on to my blog assignment for this month.  I was so lucky to get Prevention RD a blog about healthy eating that tastes wonderful and is EASY to do.  This is my kind of blog I tell ya!  Nicole, who writes Prevention RD, is a registered dietitian so she knows what she is talking about in the healthy food department.  She also knows how to make healthy food taste delicious!  I had such a hard time choosing a recipe to feature from her blog so I had to make three or four before I finally settled on her Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken.

Most of you know that I L.O.V.E my slow cooker.  It is such a life saver at times and makes my hectic life much easier.  This recipe is wonderful.  I cut the red pepper flakes down to a 1/4 tsp just so the final product wasn't spicy for my kids, but other than that I made it as she lists it below. The chicken is tender and moist, full of sweet tangy sauce, and works perfectly with rice that absorbs all that delicious flavor.  We paired ours with the stir fried broccoli that I featured last month for Secret Recipe Club and it was wonderful. Make it this week for a delicous and easy dinner meal.  ENJOY!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe Source: Prevention RD 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.25 lbs)
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 onion, diced
2 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp safflower oil or extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed or grated
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (A Cook's Quest used 1/4 tsp)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Put chicken into crock pot.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and mix,
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. 
Remove chicken from the slow cooker leaving the sauce.  Whisk the  cornstarch into liquid in the crock pot, cover and cook the sauce on high for ten more minutes or until it just starts to thicken.
Shred chicken or cut into bite size pieces, return to the sauce and stir together.  Serve over rice and with your favorite green vegetable.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Z is for Zone

The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme -
A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.

Quote of the Day: A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. John Steinbeck

Word of the Day: Zone

I'm really quite pleased with my Z photo. I found it outside the Children's Theatre. When I'm watching plays, I'm definitely in the zone. I am in the moment. I don't worry about anything outside of that story. I do let my mind wander and make connections, but I think that's part of the zone. This also happens when I'm reading a good book. I can tune out all that boy noise, even their gadgets and fussing. I'm in a different time zone inside of that story.

I've been in the zone when I'm making music. Sometimes, I lose myself in the song, my fingers finding the notes without conscious effort, and there are times when a story idea sorts itself out, or a real life situation gains clarity. If I'm in angst about anything, I sit down to the piano.

When I was writing Coffee Shop Confessions, I would sit in the coffee shop or at home, and I'd hear all the noises around me, until I started getting into the story. The voices in my head took over, then I heard nothing but what they needed me to write. One evening, around bedtime, my oldest son walked through the kitchen and gave me a funny look. I was wiping tears off my cheeks. I had just written a powerful scene, the one that makes the actress cry, the one where I noticed several people reaching for something to wipe their eyes.

There are many kinds of zones in the world. Being in the zone with my art is sheer bliss.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  Describe a time when you were in the zone.

Fettuccine with Asparagus, Prosciutto and Cream ( Fettuccine con Asparagi, Prosciutto e Panna)

This delicious and delicate dish is simple to prepare especially when Asparagus is in Season.  It doesn't take much to put together something fresh and delicious, just a willingness to learn and a desire to get it right.  We made this in our Cooking class yesterday, along with fresh Fettuccine Pasta.  What a great time!

We used the Academia Barilla's recommendation of 3oz of flour per person plus one egg.  This worked very well.  I actually amply fed 8 people with  a 6 person measurement.  I served a small amount to each person.  There was enough for all.
Special note:  If you do not want to make Fresh Pasta, be sure and purchase a good, quality Pasta Products.  (Link on bottom) I recommend DiCecco.

Fresh pasta: 18 oz of flour, unbleached, all purpose is what we used.  If your flour is sifted, sift it again.   If you have the luxury of finding type OO flour, by all means use it.  You will not have to sift anything, as it is milled fine and ready to go.  Although the latter is what is traditionally used, you can get a fairly good result with unbleached, All purpose, depending on what kind of pasta you are attempting to make).  Do not be discouraged, just follow the directions per video that I will attempt to link up here.  We actually used the food processor method, but the same rules apply.  Do not be in a hurry.  Be sure and let your dough rest before proceeding.

Ingredients:  1plus 1/2 LB fresh Asparagus
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
 One large skillet  to fit and boil your Asparagus and make your cream sauce
One large pot to Boil your pasta filled with ample water
1 tablespoon salt for your pasta water
3/4 cup of cream (Heavy whipping cream variety)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup diced prosciutto
Some parsley if you wish to decorate your plate before serving (optional)

Clean your Asparagus:  Remove your woodsy bottoms and discard.  (You can not make soup with wood, so throw it away).  With a vegetable peeler, peel away the edges about an inch.  Your bottoms must be the same size as your tops.  Disregard this if you are dealing with fresh Asparagus out of your backyard.  This will not apply, as you will not loose as much in the cleaning process.  
  Our Asparagus were quite thick, store bought,  so we lost quite a bit  in the cleaning process to maintain good flavor.  

Cook your Asparagus for 5-7 minutes in salted water enough to cover.  Reserve several tablespoons of your cooking liquid  in a cup.  You will add this later to your cream sauce.   Remove them to an ice bath to halt the cooking process.  Dry with paper towels and cut into 1/4 inch pieces reserving the tips. 

 Method:  Using the same skillet you cooked your Asparagus in, wipe it out with paper towels.  Add two tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium.  Add your garlic and  Proscuitto and turn up the eat to medium/ high for one minute.  Turn your heat back down some and saute your Prosciutto in the pan for 3-5 minutes.  Your Prosciutto will be somewhat crispy with golden edges.  Turn your heat up to medium and add your wine.  Let the wine simmer away.  Add your cream, salt and let reduce again until about a third of the liquid has evaporated.  You will notice your sauce has thickened.  Turn the heat off.

Add your Asparagus (excluding tips), into your pan with your cream and Prosciutto.  
Cook your pasta.  Remove 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid from your pasta water and add that to your pan.   Turn your heat back on and reduce just a little.  The starches from your pasta water will help thicken your sauce once again.
Drain your pasta at al dente,  Return your pasta to your skillet and give it a good mix and toss.  Add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve as a first course or serve it for dinner.  Enjoy!   Buon Appetito!

Review of Pippi Longstocking at the Children's Theatre in Mpls.

Quote of the Day: You'll never know where you'll go or who you'll be until tomorrow comes. Pippi, from the grand finale.

"Can we have Pippi over for a play date?" asked the little girls who attended the show with me. "She'd really mess up our house," they also said.

I watched the show with these two little Pippis.
They give it four thumbs up!

How delightful to watch a show like Pippi Longstocking with my friend and her four-year-old twin daughters. They were so excited to go to the show, their first at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Before the show, we spent some time taking in Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and all day they kept asking, "Is it time to see Pippi? Where's Pippi? Is she there, yet?" Yes, the excitement built.

These two little monkeys acted like Pippi's pet, Mr. Nelson, climbing under and up the seats, riding them down, until the play started. Then, their eyes were glued to the stage, mouths open. I loved watching the show with them, hearing their shrieks of laughter, comments to Mom, and seeing their hands over their mouths when they were worried. One, or both of them, would stand up when the action got really exciting.

Pippi Longstocking is a high-energy, rollicking good show. Katie Adducci, who plays Pippi, is so athletic. I chatted with a woman at intermission who has seen several productions of Pippi. She thought Kate was one of the oldest girls to play Pippi (she seemed youthful to me). I said she looked like she's a good gymnast. The woman replied, "That's probably why they chose her." She's everywhere on stage. Big movements. Animated dancing. My heart rate went up from watching it!

The entire show is so well choreographed. Every movement, not just the dancing, but the scenes where they run in and out, up and down, over, under, above, doors opening and shutting. The scene with the thieves reminded me of Home Alone, and it was all a game to Pippi.

The thieves. Love the "Per Gynt" style costume.
These two were like cartoon characters.
The guy in red reminded me of the scarecrow in Wizzard of Oz, the way he could move his body. He's like a rubberband.

I think the carnival scene was my favorite.
The costumes were like traditional Scandinavian ones, the bunads, wool vests, embroidered aprons. I felt reconnected with my own Scandinavian roots. (Here's a link to my sister's blog, I'ts a Joy, with a photo of her wearing the one that she made.)

Pippi has the kind of freedom that kids dream about, especially when they're doing chores or sitting long hours in school. They want to be independent, have adventures, and never worry about bedtime...until the thunderstorms strike in the middle of the night.

Pippi is a fictional character. She's like Astrid Lindgren's imaginary friend, brought to life through her stories, and animated on stage through wonderful productions like these. And, now, she can be our imaginary friend, too.

Hey, girls, maybe when she's done with her shows, Pippi will be available for a play date. I think we'd have grand adventures with her. Until then, let's put on our longstockings and make up our own stories.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  What fictional character would you like to invite over for an adventure?

Photos from the Children's Theatre Company production are by Dan Norman. Thank you for the show, the rollicking good time, and the wonderful photos.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yellow

The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme -
A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.

Quote of the Day: A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. John Steinbeck

Word of the Day: Yellow

I saw this tiny branch lying on the ground and looked for a good background for it.
It makes me think of a divining rod.
Look! It found water.

Of course, yellow is a color, and as colors go, there are many shades of yellow. The flourescent yellow text color wouldn't show up well on this screen, so I went with mustard. If someone calls you "yellow," he's probably looking for a fight. I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art yesterday for their Art in Bloom display, flower arrangements placed throughout the institute that compliment the artwork. It was amazing! I set out to find shades of yellow. Here's my pictoral journey.

The yellow train led the way.

I was seeing double all day.

Krista's twin daughters, four & half years old, came along to see the flowers and Pippi!

The girls like this face.
It's all flowers and greenery.

Note how the arrangements look like the artwork.

You can't resist the urge to touch.

Right, Mom?
Or, is it mum in this case?

The colors are so vibrant.

I thought this was brilliant.
Art immitating life, which is art.

Shades of yellow, and the red?
Is it heart?
Is it a brooch?

A countryside oasis of flowers.
I imagine tiny pixies living here.

This was my favorite pairing.
See the tiny clothesline in the flowers?
Here's a closer one of the flower arrangement.

I give this one first place.

Flowers or cake?
Looks good enough to eat.

What cultural display influenced this one?

The body is birch bark.
How'd they do that?

One more stunning yellow arrangement, placed in front of the window looking into the lobby of the Children's Theatre. I had to wait to photograph it because a group of women were standing around, talking about it. I surmised it was the artist and her friends. She said that when it wilts just a bit, it will look like the "yellow sponge" (as the little girls called it) hanging behind it.

The amazing Ninja blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh, honored me today on his Y is for Youthfulness post. He thinks I'm youthful, and I'll gladly accept that title. Just yesterday, I pulled on my own longstockings and attended a performance of Pippi Longstocking at the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis. I'll have the review up soon.

Go. Create. Inspire!
And, embrace your inner child. He or she really wants to go out to play!!!

Journaling Prompt:  Have you ever seen the Art in Bloom display, or something like it? What art pairings have you admired? I've also enjoyed a pairing of Beetles music with art. I could have spent days there.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is a symbol

The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme -
A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.

Quote of the Day: A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. John Steinbeck

Word of the Day: X

This X fits for Favorite Photo Friday.
It's my favorite letter photo I took for the challenge.
I found it outside the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where I'll be heading today to see "Art in Bloom"  and watch Pippi Longstocking at the Children's Theatre Company.

X stands alone. X marks the spot. X indicates a crossing, or where a treasure is hidden. XE is a noble gas on the periodic table. Looking up XE on the internet, I learned it is a dot com site for currency exchange. Days before the A to Z Challenge started, I was eating at a Chinese restaurant with my kids. My fortune cookie read: You will find the answer to a question you seek. Just then, my X idea popped into my head, and I told the kids that X stands for Christmas! Some people think the X exes out Christ. Others explain that the X is a symbol for Christ, so it works. If you're a texter, you'll prefer the X to writing out the name.

Bobby said I could use XE, xenon, a noble gas. I asked him why it was noble. My children's writer brain was picturing it dressed in purple with a crown on its head. Or, maybe it's something that happens when a king eats too many beans. (Hey, what can I say, I have four boys. This is the kind of thing that makes them giggle.) It was discovered by Sir William Ramsay, that sounds noble. Here's what says about noble gases: The six noble gases are found in group 18 of the periodic table. These elements were considered to be inert gases until the 1960's, because their oxidation number of 0 prevents the noble gases from forming compounds readily. All noble gases have the maximum number of electrons possible in their outer shell (2 for Helium, 8 for all others), making them stable.  (So, to be noble is to be stable? That's debatable!)

Bobby explained this to me at the time of the fortune cookie. I said, "Hmmm. I should have paid more attention in chemestry class." I always thought the periodic table looked cool, and I liked making atoms out those tiny tinker toys. Other than that, I made up stories and drew pictures on my notes.

My favorite symbol for X is this: XXOO. Jolly Jilly found a quilt block with this symbol of affection. May you give and receive many XXs & OOs today.

Go. Create. Inspire!

If you're in the Brainerd area, check out Art at Central Lakes College. My review is on my blogspot on The Brainerd Dispatch. You'll have an X-cellent time!

Journaling Prompt:  Has a fortune cookie message ever rung true for you? Did you enjoy your chemestry class?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tangy Kumquat Tea Cakes . . . (Yes, Kumquats Really Do Exist!)

My son Nathan has a pal named Gabe, who was at our house one afternoon this week after school. The two of them were in the kitchen foraging for snacks when Gabe spotted a small container of what looked to be Barbie-doll sized oranges on the kitchen counter. According to Nathan, who was the only witness to his comment, Gabe said in mock amazement, "No. Nooo. You mean kumquats really exist??"

Yes, Gabe, they really do. And though you might not want to just pop one in your mouth and chomp down on it unless you're seriously into puckering, they are awfully good after being sliced, seeded, and undergoing a leisurely simmer in sugar water. Plus, they're so darn cute. A petite box of kumquats is about as appealing as a basket of warm kittens. You just can't resist picking one up and gently examining it. You won't want to put it down, and you'll definitely feel compelled to show it to someone else. Yes, a kumquat is its own little conversation piece.

A relatively scarce fruit around here, as far as common usage goes, I have to admit I've never before used a recipe that featured them, and never even particularly bothered to find out what the heck to do with them until now. But, I think it's safe to say I'm a newly minted member of the tiny fruit's fan club.

About this recipe . . . 

Adapted from a gluten-free formula found on Tartelette--without question one of the loveliest food blogs around--I made a few minor changes. Note, though, that my version is not gluten-free. (As my favorite cake-decorating teacher, Chef Lois, recently remarked, "I'm all about gluten." Quite obviously, I share that sentiment.)

Tartelette's recipe called for millet flour and almond flour. Mine, instead, uses a combo of all-purpose flour, a bit of spelt flour, and almond flour. Tartelette baked her cakes in financier pans, a muffin-type pan with rectangular cavities shaped like gold ingots (thus the moneyed name). I have no financier pans, so I baked mine in twelve small brioche tins.

These little cakes are moist, just sweet enough, and the flavor of the kumquats is definitely present without being overwhelming. My husband, who I thought might show lukewarm interest, gave these two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Tangy Kumquat Tea Cakes

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour (or use baking spray on) twelve small brioche, financier, or muffin tins.

Ingredients for batter:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/4 cup spelt flour (if you don't have spelt, just use all-purpose)
1 cup almond flour (aka almond meal/finely ground blanched almonds)
1 pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar (not necessary to sift, but I'd whisk/pinch out any big lumps)
4 large eggs

1/3 to 1/2 cup kumquat compote (recipe below)
About 2 Tbsp. sanding sugar or granulated sugar, if you prefer, to sprinkle atop the unbaked cakes

Ingredients for kumquat compote:
1 cup of clean, ripe kumquats, seeded and sliced

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

To make the compote:
Heat the sliced, seeded kumquats slowly in a medium sauce-pan with the sugar and water over medium heat, stirring periodically, until the mixture just comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer until the kumquats appear translucent (you'll know it when you see it); this might take 15 minutes or so.

Put all of the kumquats into a small bowl with only about 1/4 cup of the sugar syrup (the rest of the syrup can be discarded or saved in the fridge to use for another project). Refrigerate until cool, then puree by pulsing in the small bowl of your food processor. The puree will still contain visible pieces of peel and that's what you want, sort of like marmalade. Set this aside as you begin to prepare the batter.

To make the batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the large bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed for a few minutes (start on low for several seconds so the sugar doesn't fly all over), until just fluffy. Pour the eggs in one at a time, mixing thoroughly for a minute or so after each addition and stopping to scrape as needed.

On low speed, add in the flours and mix only until combined--about 30 seconds or so.

Take the bowl off the mixer and use a spatula to fold in three quarters of the kumquat compote; reserve one quarter of the compote.

Portion the batter evenly into your prepared tins and dab a bit of the reserved compote on top of each one. If you like, sprinkle a generous pinch of sanding sugar or granulated sugar over that.

Bake the cakes for about 15 minutes, or until they're lightly golden and the sides have begun to pull away from the tins. Let them cool a few minutes in their tins before removing them from the pans to a cooling rack.

Sprinkle the cakes lightly with confectioners' sugar when cool. Best if eaten the first two days.

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, please click on the purple COMMENTS below.)