Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter "Comfort Foods"

Many winter recipes/foods are traditionally considered "Comfort Foods". Today, we have snow blanketing the mountain and weather that certainly begs for something warm and comforting. Generally, in my kitchen, that means a pot of Vegetable Soup, Chili or Chicken 'N Dumplings. Knowing that snow was heading our way, I made a HUGE pot of Mary Strain's Beef and Vegetable Soup yesterday to share with neighbors.
 The recipe is here

Now, you just KNOW I could not take only a container of soup... so I tried a new/old King Arthur Flour Apple Cake recipe. We still have a refrigerator drawer filled with Pink Ladies and they "need" to be used. The Apple Cake is made in a 9x13" pan and was an unusual "batter". It was so stiff that I had to literally press it into the greased pan with wet fingers. The apples were chunky but baked to perfection with the finished product being somewhere between apple cake and apple streusel.
I added raisins and omitted nuts. I could have eaten it for breakfast except that the icing is SUPER sweet. Good, but really sweet. You might want to consider trying it without icing? Or not!

Here it is, stolen fair and square from the King Arthur Flour website. ENJOY!


20 mins. to 30 mins.
42 mins. to 47 mins.
2 hrs 2 mins. to 2 hrs 17 mins.
about 24 servings

This cake is an old, old favorite of ours. It's a cake where the whole is definitely more than the sum of the parts. The moist, semi-chunky cake, spread with the frosting equivalent of brown sugar fudge, is perfect served with a cup of coffee or, better still, a glass of ice-cold milk.

Our thanks to the wonderful Bakery Lane Soup Bowl cookbook for the inspiration for this recipe.


  • 2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples 
  • 1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan. ( Rebel that I am, I did NOT flour!)
  2. To make the cake: Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl. (of electric mixer)
  3. Beat until well combined; the mixture will be very stiff, and may even be crumbly. 
  4. Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency. 
  5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.
  6. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it. 
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don't remove the cake from the pan. 
  8. To make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. 
  9. Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
  10. After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.
  11. Yield: about 2 dozen servings. (cut into small squares - it's very rich and very sweet!)

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