Which favorite recipe do you have stashed in your kitchen drawer for a quick and delicious treat? Maybe you are better organized than me and have cookies and pies stored in the freezer for unexpected guests? If your luck is anything like mine, then you’ve probably just finished eating the last freezer dessert and haven’t had a chance to restock before that surprise visit. Luckily, I always have ingredients on hand for these little cakes. It takes me about half an hour to make them and I serve them right away as they can be eaten warm. I love them hot and topped with ice cream!
I am usually intimidated by baking and I owe it to my mother. She couldn’t bake anything edible to save her life. Her sister gave her one-on-one baking lessons many times, but with no success. I remember the last time my poor aunt Lucia tried to make a baker out of my mom. The choice was a pound cake, because you can’t mess that one up. Mom and aunt were working side by side each on their own cake. Mom followed my aunt’s every step: eggs into a bowl; beat the darn eggs; add sugar; beat some more and so on exactly to a T. They put their cakes into the oven at the same time. We sat quietly on the sofa waiting for mom’s first cake, already so proud of her like she was the next in line for coronation. Finally the cakes came out of the oven. One was looking suspiciously flat. While aunt’s cake turned out just as it should, moist and soft, mom’s was dense and dry. Aunt Lucia threw her hands in the air, her apron on the floor and concluded that mom was cursed never to be a baker. This event and all the cake-less Sundays of my childhood left a big impact. I am scared of baking. But I am competitive and a daredevil. Dare me something and watch me do it.
Making these is a piece of cake (or 4 in this instance) and if I can do it, anyone can. Except my mom – her curse has never been removed.
¾ cup Brown Sugar, packed
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 stick Butter, divided
½ cup Water
2/3 cup all-purpose Flour
1 cup Walnuts, ground (or finely chopped)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Over medium heat stir and simmer 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and water in a small pan until bubbly and the mixture thickens slightly, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.