My Mom would don a starched apron and start
cooking the day before Thanksgiving, that would continue through New Year's Day. Every day there were more goodies: cookies, peanut butter balls, marzipan colored and shaped into miniature fruits and veggies, popcorn balls, peanut brittle, candy apples…. you get the idea. When I was dating Rick she insisted on sending a tray filled with all these delightsto his family. Rolling my eyes only when Mom couldn’t see I would head out the door like a dutiful daughter. What I wouldn’t give to have her hand me a tray today.
Since last year’s attempt at Mom’s Candy Apples landed me in the emergency room when the stick broke, apple landed in HARD CRACK stage candy and splashed back on my hand. As a side note my family made me take the picture off Facebook. It kept freaking them out :). Anyway. I’m sticking to baking this year. I came across recipes a customer gave me years ago for cakes baked in a canning jar to give as gifts. Love it! After baking, the article suggests cutting fabric out with pinking shears to decorate each jar. Haha! I have my Mom’s shears and the memory of her using them to cut my bangs for a more ‘natural’ look. It kinda works…
I read a little about these cakes, they used to call them Pirate Cakes because the jars are capped hot from the oven and seal to keep for about a year. I chose to make the Apple and the Pumpkin sticking mostly to the recipe except I added dark chocolate chips to the pumpkin.Like bacon there isn’t much dark chocolate doesn’t make even better! They are moist and delish! Great gift idea and something the kids would really enjoy decorating too!
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cup sugar
3 cups pealed, grated apples (I used Honeycrisp)
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup water
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
8 pint size wide mouth canning jars (aisle 9)
Sterilize jars, lids and rings (I did it in the dishwasher). Keep lids warm on top of oven. Spray non stick in each jar. Preheat oven to 325*, place jars on cookie sheet (or my super cool jelly roll pan I got on aisle 9).
Cream together shortening and sugar, add eggs, mix thoroughly. Add apples, raisins and water. In another bowl sift together, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to apple mixture, mix well, add nuts.
Fill jars half full with batter. Bake for 55 minutes. Since ovens vary, test with a toothpick. Remove jars one at a time, sealing as you go with lids and rings tightened down. As they cool each will seal with a pop. Decorate. BAM.
I may never attain my Momma’s mad cooking skills but I try to channel her enthusiasm for the Holidays and jest for life each day! Ha! Jest for life :) I meant to say ZEST but that works too.
As promised, here's the pumpkin and brownie recipe: