Well, the weather finally feels like fall, and I've been spending the last few weeks baking my hiney off. My family (and friends!) have been loving it. Here's a favorite that I forgot to post last year. It's really very healthy, and a wonderful food for breakfast. I came up with this recipe after studying several others and just experimenting ... here's the final product.
But I caution you, it's very, very good. If you're not married, and you make this for your sweetheart, you may get an on-the-spot proposal. Make it for your husband, and he'll follow you around like a puppy, begging for more while professing his undying love. Your kids will attach themselves to your legs and never let go, which makes for an awkward time of shaving your legs, believe me!! So, do beware of the powers that this cake has, and use them wisely, for good and not evil.
Apple Spice Cake
1 cup raisins (dark or golden)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups barely packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves and ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled apple chunks (honey crisp apples are the best ones I've found so far, but any really fresh, crisp apple will do)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350, and grease two muffin tins or one muffin tin and 2 or 3 mini loaf tins. Don't make this as one big loaf; it'll never cook all the way through.
Coat the raisins with flour to prevent from sinking in the batter. In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, and set aside. In your mixer, cream the butter, sugar and eggs. Slowly add the oil with the mixer running, then the vanilla. In small batches, add the dry mix. Mix in the apples and walnuts, and stir in the raising by hand. Yes, this will be the thickest and chunkiest batter you have ever beheld in your entire life. It's supposed to be like that, don't worry!
Spoon into the tins and bake about 25 minutes, until springy and dry in the center. This time might now be anywhere close to right, because my oven is possessed by the devil and makes me do all kind of strange things with time to get things to cook. When they look completely done, and are brown all over, and aren't squishy in the middle, they're done.
**As soon as you're able, turn everything out onto a cooling rack. The moisture content is so high that they start to get mushy very fast. No cooling rack? Use a dishtowel on the counter, but move everything after about 10 minutes to prevent it from sticking.
**Now, since this is kind of a pain in the hiney to make, I usually triple the recipe and individually freeze what we won't eat in two days or so.
**There is a glaze that is pretty good, too. Mix powdered sugar with maple syrup, or powdered sugar with milk and vanilla extract, and lightly drizzle over the cake when it's mostly cooled. Mmmm ...