It is hard to have a social event these days due to everyone’s special diets. This house has a no-no list and sugar is one thing to avoid. Hard to do. We compromise a bit, eating sugar on special occasions or tiny bits for counting of carbs. It is easier for me to bake several things at once and pop them in the freezer for retrieving a bit at a time or for company. This freezes things too hard to cheat with (unless you discount chocolate chip cookies that can be warmed between the knees while you read Chapter 12!) and it means you limit the number of days you are tempted to lick the mixing bowl.
I find that these days I also streamline recipes using shortcuts or make the meal special with napkins, teas, or friends rather than counting on the recipe to be a WOW factor. I recently bought some tea cake pans. They looked so cute, like mini muffins but with this “dip” in the top that allowed the cook to put a dollop of whipped cream or gelled fruit in the dip. I found it a lot of work just to have a glorified cupcake in miniature. I vowed no more special pans. (I found the Bundt pan a little over-rated when it appeared too.)
Then I kept reading about Madeleines on the blog Lines from Linderhof. (http://www.blogger.com) Martha was always making cute and tasty things. She incited my interest when she said she made cornbread in her Madeleine pan. Hum, I talked myself out of them when I thought how I made jumbo cornbreads in a silicone pan and how well this works because the cornbread doesn’t crumble.
Then Martha made sweet cakes in her pans. She said that two of the little cakes were just right for a lady having tea. She hooked me. Madeleines are shell-shaped little things, and Martha is right. They are just right for tea, and I can see them as cornbread too. Today I made orange madeleines from a recipe that came with the pan that arrived this week. Such fun…
So while I was at it, I made my special fiber muffins in the muffin top pans. These pans are wonderful! I make the muffins large because I know I will eat two little ones anyway. These muffins are heart healthy as they use oat bran, wheat bran, and ground flax among other things. They also have two WHOLE oranges blended in. They do use brown sugar, but they beat regular bran muffins.
Then it was time to whip up a loaf of molasses bread making the whole kitchen smell Ozarky from the thick Guinness-colored molasses. This is a new recipe and a most unusual heavy bread. It is not yeast bread; it is sweet and moist like a tea bread but has no fruits or nuts. It is good with mere butter or honey butter. It is a winner with a pot of tea.
While the oven was hot and the zucchini abundant, a chocolate zucchini cake was in order. Baked on a cookie sheet this cake is delicious and thin enough to be cut into brownie-sized servings.
2/3 cup flour
¼ t baking powder
½ cup butter melted
½ t orange extract
½ t orange peel shredded (I used a little more)
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325. Spray pan with Pam. Sift together the flour and baking powder in small bowl. In large bowl of mixer, beat eggs, orange extract, and peel until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar. Beat until thick.
Fold in flour. Then melted butter. Mix until smooth. Fill Madeline pans ¾ full, bake for about 8 minutes. Cool 2 minutes and removed from pan. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.