So, naturally, when Taylor asked me to make some dessert for the final mock trial competition at school (which he was organizing), I was happy to oblige. He suggested a couple cakes and some cookies, so I went looking through my recipes. I decided on four recipes: Big Mom's oatmeal crisps (these are "icebox" cookies) and her molasses cookies (soft and wonderful, not like gingersnaps); and I used Not Without Salt's simple chocolate cake recipe--one with and one without cocoa + coffee. With helpful hints from Smitten Kitchen, I baked the 4 layers of cake and refrigerated the cookie dough in preparation.
Mostly, though it took a little while, the baking went off without a hitch (except, perhaps, for a too-flat batch of molasses cookies (which I replaced with a better batch)). Imagine my joy when Taylor came home and told me that everyone loved the desserts and they want recipes! Hence, this (apologetically lengthy) post. I hear that one of the judges had my cake for dinner and took some home to his wife, too. Friends have said the cookies were the bright spot in their day. This is definitely an upside to being a baker!
So here are my recipes, for those who, like me, love to bake your way into people's hearts.
I made a chocolate butter cream frosting from KitchenAid's mixer recipe book. It's a pretty standard recipe, with melted chocolate as the flavor. Let me know if you're interested in it and I can post it, too. Middle layer was just melted chocolate :)
Simple White Cake
I used the chocolate cake recipe above, but left out the cocoa powder and the coffee. Instead of vanilla I used almond extract, and I added a few tablespoons more of flour, to compensate for the missing cooca. Frosting's just a simple butter cream. To give the frosting some texture, I used a mix of granulated sugar and powdered sugar.
Molasses Cookies are the same as they've alway been, perfectly chewy inside and crispy outside, just the right size, with a wonderful sugary texture all around.
Oatmeal Crisps couldn't be an easier cookie to make. Mix the dough, roll it into a log in wax paper, refrigerate, slice, bake. Presto--several dozen cookies to munch!