Three Cheers (and a little chocolate) for Friday!



So now that 
the calendar 
has turned over 
to December . . .

I guess it's no longer fair to begrudge Old Man Winter his fun.
Embrace, embrace, embrace!
Shiver a lot, but embrace it nonetheless.
Okay, swear a little too, but --

One of my first yearly chores  to welcome in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is creating the cover for our annual Christmas cd, and I'm pleased to report that mission has been accomplished!

We're still waiting for the cds themselves to arrive so we can begin the assembly line, but the part that keeps me awake at night is finished.  (Rest assured I have wasted no time in finding other things to keep me awake at night . . .)

Step 2 of my "Embrace Winter with a Smile" plan  involved turning on the fireplace in my studio while wearing two sweatshirts until I was so warm I almost couldn't stand it.  I was so busy the first few days this week that I forgot I had a fireplace and I was cold and grumpy all day.  Finally Russ came down on Wednesday night and said, "Why is it cold down here!?"

I guess I also cannot begrudge Old Man Winter my own stupidity.  My fireplace will probably be on now until about April.

Step 3 is going to involve baking and eating something old fashioned and winter-ish -- and I mean that in the best possible way -- which I believe will be this:

Susan's Favorite Hot Fudge Pudding Cake 

with a hefty slab of peppermint ice cream on the side! 

This is an old-fashioned pudding cake (there used to be Betty Crocker mixes for such things, and if you remember them you are, like me, OLD. There was a lemon version that I loved.)

I came across the recipe for this chocolate delight about 30 years ago and have been making it ever since -- usually sometime in December, because it gives me another excuse to eat my favorite peppermint ice cream. I like the kind that is actually vanilla ice cream with peppermint candies in it, as opposed to the too-strong but more readily available peppermint flavored ice cream.

In case you'd like to join the warm gooey fun, 
here's the sorta-strange-but-so-easy recipe:

Susan's Favorite Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided                                          
1 cup flour                                                              
7 Tbsp. Hershey's Cocoa, divided                            
2 tsp. baking powder                                               
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups hot water

Heat oven to 350.  Combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 Tbsp. cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Blend in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Pour batter in 8 or 9" square pan.  In small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and remaining 4 Tbsp. cocoa.  Mix well.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter (mixture will look like sand).  Pour hot water over top; do not stir.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Spoon into dishes, garnish with whipped cream or ice cream (or both!)

Now -- I hope your weekend (and your winter)
is off to a warm and wonderful start . . .



Spoon Licking!




Leenie said...

I, too, am huddled by my space heater and wearing lots of layers. I live with a Danish eskimo so I just try to keep my corner of the house above freezing.

At least this year I won't have to be tortured by an office radio playing the SAME Christmas music over-and-over-and over. Maybe I won't be such a grinch about holiday music, but no guarantees.

I remember boxes of pudding cake, I'm OLD too. But your recipe sounds so much better! Yum.

Judy said...

I can skip #1 and #2, but #3--now THAT'S my way of embracing winter. Hot fudge pudding cake is one of my favorites, so I'll wait for an especially *cold* California evening (say, if it dips below 50) and whip up your version. Okay, maybe I'm really just going to make it for breakfast this morning...

susan m hinckley said...

Then I won't feel so bad about myself for eating it for breakfast this morning. Thanks, Judy!

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