For the past week, I've been trying to find words where there are none. I can't help but feel a crushing heartbreak for families, children, and a community I'd never heard of before last Friday. The holidays are a season of reflection and gratitude, and I am so very grateful for the life I am able to live.
I'm thankful I could take this picture. That Santa belly is all him by the way. It's probably from the bits of cookies and whatnot I sneak him.
This pudding cake started out as a pan of cookie bars. We're making lemonade out of lemons here. Or cake out of cookies. Same thing. You'll need: flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, marshmallows, brown sugar, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and eggs.
Dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, espresso) make it into a medium bowl.
Butter and sugars start out in a large bowl. Cream them until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated.
Now, you could sift the cocoa powder into the bowl. Or you could sprinkle a little in, mix, sprinkle a little more in...you get the picture.
Serious chocolate action. It's time for the vanilla.
Add half the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Then add the rest and mix until barely incorporated.
Stir in the marshmallows. They're what make this hot chocolate-y.
You don't have to line the baking pan with parchment paper. I did that when I thought these would turn out more like bars. Just grease the pan like you would normally and spread the batter evenly.
Mostly the marshmallows will melt into the batter, making it super-gooey. But you'll see little bits that get toasted, kind of like it's been over a campfire. The edges get crispy and brownie-like, while the middle is fudgier. Much more my speed. Y'know ice cream probably wouldn't be a bad idea here.
I watched White Christmas two nights ago. One particular song struck a chord with me. When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. It's a sentiment that means more now than ever.
Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake (makes one 9x9 cake)
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tbs instant espresso powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375º. Grease a 9x9 pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. Slowly sprinkle in cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
- Add half the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the remaining half and stir until just incorporated. Stir in miniature marshmallows.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until edges are crispy and middle has set but is still gooey. Let cool in the pan.