Saturday, October 23, 2010

Solving the Mystery

When I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, I thought it would be perfect for my husband. He doesn't like ooey, gooey, heavily frosted, ultra sweet desserts. I do, of course. I have, in my desperation for something sweet, eaten chocolate frosting out of a can with a spoon. And, with my head held down in shame, admit that I even let my son who was about two at the time have a scoop, too. We loved it, but we don't do that any more. Honest...

Before I get to the recipe, I have to tell you that I had a wonderful moment while I was gathering my ingredients to create this dessert. As I measured out my brown sugar for the topping, I thought, "wouldn't it be nice if I had some pretty measuring cups to use for my photographs?" And, then it hit me!!! I did...somewhere...if a certain person had not deemed them unnecessary and thrown them away. I hurried to the garage and plundered through a storage container. I was so happy to find these that I almost cried. I bought them from Gooseberry Patch years ago. But, now that they've been found, they will never leave my side. I promise.

Mystery Dessert

¾ cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
14 oz fruit cocktail along with syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup crushed walnuts or almonds
¼ tsp cinnamon, optional


Stir together sugar, flour, soda, salt in mixing bowl. Beat in egg, fruit cocktail and vanilla. Pour into shallow, greased 8x8 inch pan or pie plate. Combine brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle over top. Bake at 325 F for 40 - 45 minutes. Serve plain, with ice cream or whipped cream.

I always like to read through a recipe before I get started just to see if there's a better way to complete the steps. Usually, preparing the topping comes last in the directions, but I always prefer to prepare it first and have it waiting for me. Here, I combined the chopped pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon first. Oh, and I used pecans because that's what I had in the freezer.

Started the batter with 3/4 cups of sugar.

Added the flour, baking soda, and salt.

I beat the egg before adding to the dry ingredients.

Added the beaten egg and vanilla.

Now, here's where things got tricky. The recipe calls for a 14 oz. can of fruit cocktail. My can was 15 oz. so I drained a little of the juice off just to be safe. I then used a mixer to blend the batter together.

I spread the batter in an 8"x8" square pan and sprinkled with the prepared topping. Baked at 325 degrees. The recipe calls for the cake to bake for 40-45 minutes. I checked on it at 30 minutes and inserted a toothpick that came out clean. I removed the cake at that point. So, make sure you check your cake at the 30-minute point just to see how things are coming along. I'm also beginning to question whether my pan was maybe a 9"x9" instead of 8"x8". Maybe one day I'll find a ruler in the garage and will be able to measure it.

Someone I know will be enjoying this later today and maybe you can, too.

And for those of you concerned about my son, he's still alive and well and almost six.
No worse for wear...

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