Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it's less commercial, more easy-going, and is held during my favorite time of the year - fall. I love the colorful-feathered turkeys and the cornucopias overflowing with summer's bounty. I love that we go home with a full belly - after the football game is over - and lounge on the couch and read or watch a movie. I love that it means Christmas and all things twinkly are around the corner! And I love the food! The funny thing, however, is that I've never actually cooked for Thanksgiving.
My family always has Thanksgiving lunch at my Aunt Linda's house, but I never lived close enough to cook and participate other than show up. Now that I'm married I always have to work the night beforeand then we travel Down East to see Brad's family. His aunts and uncles always take care of lunch so there are no worries for me. This year, however, we're going to his brother's house for Thanksgiving for the first time, and so far no one has asked me to lift a finger. They don't know my affinity for food, and they're only a little bit aware of my love of cooking and baking, and I'm playing it safe and letting the hostess direct me. So far all we have to do is show up for dinner. I can do that.
I'm not sure what we're eating, but as long as there is dressing on the table I'm happy. I always grew up eating dressing out of the bird, baked separately, and sliced into squares. Cover that stuff with gravy and I'm happy. In fact, you can have the bird. I'd rather have the side dishes! How about you? What's your favorite part of Thanksgiving?
I bet you came here looking for a recipe today, right? And I bet you want to know what that absolutely fabulous, my-cup-runneth-over-with-caramel-icing cake is up there, too. It's Fresh Apple Cake with Butterscotch Icing, and it was absolutely glorious. Every crumb was consumed, and several people took two servings. Is it healthy? Heck, no. Is it fat-free? Are you joking? But is it yummy and will it make you a star? Absolutely. I say pass on that pumpkin pie. This would be a much better end to your Thanksgiving meal, if I do say so myself.
Fresh Apple Cake With Butterscotch Icing
Adapted from Allrecipes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups apple - peeled, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray and flour.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
3. In a separage, large bowl whick oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then fold in apples and pecans, if desired.
4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit in pans before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Make frosting: In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Stir in evaporated milk and bring mixture to boil. Let cook about three minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool and set up.
6. Frost cake layers*, then sprinkle top of cake with chopped pecans, if desired.
* I poured the frosting over my cake layers because for me it never set up.