Posts Tagged ‘cake’

It goes without saying that our mothers taught us a lot of what we know about cooking. We learned everything from how to saute onions without setting off smoke detectors, to how much raw cookie dough you can ingest before your stomach hurt (not that we listened). So in honor of our moms and obviously to outshine our siblings we each chose a recipe that was handed down to us from our mothers.

Gingerbread cake with lemon sauce

by Sarah Steimer

Gingerbread just for Christmas? Absolutely not.

Sometime during my adolescence I decided I didn’t like regular birthday cake anymore. I often chose a cake alternative: cheesecake, pie, ice cream cake and so forth. I asked for this cake a few times, a recipe my maternal grandmother made for my mom and her siblings. It may not be the exact same recipe she used, but I’m sure it’s just as good. Jameson women know how to bake — whether for six kids  and a husband or just herself.

For the cake

  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and baking soda.  Add softened butter, molasses, egg, and 1/2 cup water. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Beat on high speed for two minutes.

Mom with my little sister and a cake she made. Marth is a cake-decorating wiz. She made the kind of cakes that left other mothers wondering where she had the time and left her three girls convinced she was the favored daughter (I am, for the record).

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 8x8x2-inch pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.

For sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons butter

In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and lemon peel. Stir in water and lemon juice. Cook and stir on low to medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir two minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

Serve the cake and sauce warm. Refrigerate the sauce between uses. It will turn into a jelly-like consistency because of the cornstarch, but makes absolutely no difference in taste.

Recipe: Martha Steimer (mom)/Virginia Jameson (grandma)

Photo: Sarah Steimer

Take 5 brownies

by Caitlin Saniga

Maybe all you have on hand are stale pretzels, almonds and peanut butter... but no chocolate chips or caramel. Pop the pretzels in the oven for a few minutes to freshen them up, and chop up the almonds. Microwave the peanut butter until it's runny, and voila! A new take on toppings for Take 5 brownies. That's what my mom would do. Half the fun is experimenting!

One quality I love about my mom is her thrift. She can make something ordinary seem spectacular with a few thoughtful tweaks. Take for example her recipe for Take 5 brownies. We always had boxes of out-of-season holiday-themed brownies lying around for some reason, and we always had pantry staples like pretzels and peanut butter on hand. So one day, her sweet tooth got her thinking, and Take 5 brownies were born. Sweet and salty — these brownies never lasted more than a few hours with her three kids (me included) lingering in the kitchen.

Well, it's fitting that Mom gave me this image of her to post. 1. She's a graphic artist. 2. My sister, Holly, often makes her own darn dinner. 3. That said, Mom usually makes dessert.

  • brownies (made from a box according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 15-25 square-shaped pretzels
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce

While the brownies are baking, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continuously for 7-8 minutes, or until all ingredients have smoothly melted together. Remove from heat and set aside.

After brownies come out of the oven, let them cool about 5 minutes. Arrange pretzels over the top of the brownies. Sprinkle peanuts over the pretzels. Drizzle the chocolate-peanut-butter mixture over top, allowing it to pool in spots. Drizzle the caramel sauce over top.

Place brownies in the refrigerator for about a half-hour so the chocolate-peanut-butter mixture has a chance to set.

Serve brownies cool, at room temperature, warm, with vanilla ice cream on top, with seven different kinds of ice cream on top, with Take 5 candy bars on the side, with more chocolate sauce and whipped cream, with sprinkles, with more pretzels, or however you darn well please.

Recipe: Stephanie Saniga (mom)

Photo: Caitlin Saniga (food), Stephanie Saniga (interpretive self-portrait)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts