Rum-Raisin Apple Bundt Cake

For today’s holiday cake I bring you a Rum Cake. Rum cakes are a traditional holiday treat in the Caribbean. And yes, they have a decent amount of rum in them which normally burns off as you bake them so you don’t have to worry about a strong alcohol taste or getting a little tipsy from your dessert. Although, you can add more rum to the cake once it’s done and the cake will gladly soak it in. It’s completely up to you. One of my favorite types of rum cake is a Black Cake, it contains rum soaked fruit which help to give this cake it’s dark chocolate cake appearance. If you’re thinking it’s similar to the traditional fruit cake most people want to avoid during the holidays you are way off. It’s nothing like that. The cake I am sharing with you today has some rum soaked raisins in it, a grated apple and a nice cardamom glaze to top it off… it’s not your traditional rum cake, but delicious nonetheless.

While there was rum baked into the cake, once it was out of the oven I pierced the cake with a fork and drizzled it with a glaze consisting of more rum, confectioners’ sugar and cardamom and let it sit for twenty minutes. Per the directions after the twenty minutes I was supposed to invert the cake on a platter so it could cool completely. Unfortunately when I attempted to invert the cake it didn’t sit flat and almost broke in half because my cake didn’t end up with a flat bottom as you can see from the picture below. This was partly due to the fact that my cake baked a lot quicker than the time on the directions and I left it in the oven too long. The directions  said 65 – 75 minutes and I set my oven for 60 minutes and it was probably done in about 45 – 50 minutes.

After letting the cake cool completely,  I made a glaze using the remaining cardamom glaze and added whole milk and more powdered sugar and whisked it until it was smooth and then drizzled it over the cake and let it set.

And then finally enjoyed a slice and it was delicious. I normally skip adding glazes to my cakes but I am so happy I didn’t skip this one. The taste of cardamom really adds a nice layer of flavor to this cake. And in case you do need more rum, this cake is dense enough that you could pour more rum over it and it won’t fall apart.

Rum-Raisin Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons spiced rum, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour, divided

1 medium Golden Delicious Apple, peeled and grated (1cup)

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided

1 tablespoon whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (or grease and flour). Combine the raisins and 3/4 cup of the rum in a small bowl and microwave for a minute. Drain the raisins and reserve the rum.

Whisk the baking powder, salt and 3 1/2 cups of the flour in a medium bowl. In another bowl, toss together the drained raisins, grated apple and remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the reserved rum, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the raisin mixture.

Spoon the batter in the prepared Bundt pan and bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cardamom, 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 6 tablespoons on rum in a small bowl.

After removing the cake from the oven pierce the bottom all over with a form and drizzle 1/2 cup of the cardamom glaze over the cake. Let the cake stand for 20 minutes and then invert onto a plate and let cool completely.

Whisk milk, remaining confectioners’ sugar and cardamom glaze and then drizzle over the cooled cake.

Recipe from Real Simple

Cookie Palooza: Bakery Style Butter Sandwich Cookies

Welcome to Day 2 of Cookie Palooza 2018! Today I am bringing you a traditional butter bakery cookie. Not the round ones covered in sprinkles, but the long sandwich ones that are filled with jam, dipped in chocolate and then rolled in sprinkles. YUM! It’s actually one of my favorite cookies, but it wasn’t always. I used to buy a package of butter cookies from my local Costco and I would always eat the round ones with the sprinkles from the package, leaving the sandwich ones for my parents to eat. Then one day I tried them and realized that they tasted much better than the other ones. Unfortunately Costco changed their supplier and the new ones they carry do not taste half as good. They taste more artificial. Thankfully this homemade version fills the void.

You may be slightly intimidated to make these cookies, but don’t be. They are super simple and don’t require any special ingredients. The hardest part is squeezing the dough out of the piping bag onto the prepared baking sheet. But after a few squeezes the dough softens up and it becomes easier and you soon get the hang of it. Using a Wilton 6B Tip I piped the dough into 2-inch pieces on a parchment lined cookie sheet. To end the dough for each cookie you can cut them with a knife or scissors. What I did is a little harder explain. I kind of nudged the tip into the cookie sheet to end it. I tried using a knife and it just wasn’t working for me. After you have piped all of your cookies bake them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Let them cool completely and then the fun begins, the assembling.

Before assembling I did my best to par up similar sized cookies. If they were off a little in length I dipped the mismatched end in the melted chocolate so no one would be the wiser. Next, I filled a piping bag with about half a cup of seedless raspberry jam to a piping bag (you could also use a small sandwich bag) and snipped off a small piece of the end. I piped a single line of jam down the center of one half of each cookie. I didn’t want to add too much jam as I didn’t want the jam to ooze out of the sides once the cookie was pressed together.

Once I had all of my cookies sandwiches together I melted a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave in a deep enough bowl that would allow me to dip the cookies at least a third of the way in. To ensure that I didn’t scorch the chocolate, I melted it at 30 second intervals and stirred between each. Once the chocolate was about 3/4 quarters of the way melted I continued stirring it to melt the rest of it. You could also melt the chocolate in a small saucepan on your stovetop if you choose. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. In a shallow bowl I poured out some sprinkles- you will need a decent amount. I also lined two baking sheets with wax paper to place the cookies once they were decorated. I began by dipping a cookie in the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. I actually used a knife to wipe off some of the excess. If you leave too much chocolate on the sprinkles will just slide off. Next I rolled the cookie in the sprinkles and placed it on the prepared baking sheet. Once I was done I placed the baking sheets in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the chocolate could set.

And there you have it…. Easy to make fancy bakery cookies that will impress everyone you share them with!

Butter Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

Filling & Decorating:

1/2 cup jam (flavor of your choice)

1 cup sprinkles

12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fit a star tip with a 1/2-inch opening on a piping bag and snip off the end. Transfer the batter to the bag.

Pipe the dough into 2 inch long segments about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. You can use a knife or scissor to cut the pieces. Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes, until they are golden at the edges.

Let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Set aside the parchment lined baking sheets.

Place the jam in a sandwich bag (or another piping bag) and place the sprinkles in a shallow dish.

Once the cookies are cool, flip half of them over and snip a small corner of the jam filled bag. Squeeze a little jam down the center of each flipped cookie. Don’t squeeze too much jam on the cookies as you don’t want it to ooze out when sandwiched. Top with the other half of the cookie.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or a small saucepan until they are three-quarters of the way melted and then stir to melt it completely. Place the chocolate in a bowl deep enough for dipping the cookies about a third of the way in. Dip the sandwiched cookies into the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off, and then roll in the sprinkles. Place on the baking sheet. Once all cookies have been decorated place the cookie sheets in the refrigerator so the chocolate can set.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen