Merry Christmas! This is the last time I'm going to be able to write that for a while.
Riley got everything she asked for from Santa Claus - a bitty baby from American Girl, matching pajamas, and a mini-carseat. The only thing we're missing is a few pairs of bitty shoes, but Etsy should do the trick.
Riley has a love of shoes that's probably been nurtured by me. I like mini-shoes. They're cheap and one can get away with wearing fuschia sparkles and embroidered wild flowers. Enough said.
Mom bought me a wonderful SLR. I've been too scared to take it out of its package. I could get lost for days playing with this thing.
For Christmas, I made sticky toffee pudding. On Christmas eve I felt like I hadn't done enough Christmasy things. I:
- baked 6 homemade gingerbread houses
- baked and decorated Christmas cookies
- made goodie boxes with homemade caramels and pecan tassies
- took Riley to Bright Nights
- went to see Santa
- scheduled a Christmas card photo session
- decorated a mini-Christmas tree with Riley
- went to Yankee Candle
- managed to pass my second to last semester of nursing school
- full time mommy
- gave Riley a mini-birthday party
Pat yourself on the back if you managed to keep your finances intact, spend time with family, and eat good food this holiday season. You deserve it.
So do me a favor if you are as type A as I tend to get and relax, drink some hot chai tea, and let your Christmas tree stay up in all its Christmas glory until you feel like taking it down, or not at all.
Individual Sticky Toffee Puddings
For the toffee sauce:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
In a saucepan over medium heat melt together 1 1/4 cups of the heavy cream, butter, corn syrup, and sugar together. Bring to a boil and let cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of the heavy cream. Set aside.
For the sticky toffee cakes:
6 ounces dried pitted dates, figs, or prunes (I used a mix of figs and prunes)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup plus 2 tbl all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 tbl salted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter 6 1/2-cup ramekins.
In a medium saucepan heat together the dates (or prunes or figs) and water over medium heat. Let simmer until softened, about 15 minutes. Dump into a food processor and pulse until extremely smooth. Set aside.
In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Add the pureed fig mixture and beat until completely incorporated. With the mixer on low speed slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins, smooth the tops, and bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs remaining.
Using a wooden skewer poke about 10 holes in each cake. Pour 3-4 tbl of the toffee sauce into each ramekin. Bake for another 10 minutes until the toffee sauce is bubbly. Slide a knife around each ramekin to loosen the cake and invert onto a dish. Top with more toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream if desired.
Source: Adapted from Food and Wine magazine by David Guas.