This buttery, almond flavoured cherry cake is an old family favourite! I’ve recently found it works just as well in this gluten free version made with almond and coconut flour.
A story is woven from the threads of a writer’s life.
The recipe for Children’s Delight cookies has been in my recipe binder forever. Just looking at the old card, written in my mother’s scrawl, brings back a rush of memories. The recipe card is stained and had comments written in after the fact (more butter!). And up in the corner, in brackets it says “Raylene Ewing”
Raylene was my good friend in Toronto when I was in grades seven and eight. Just seeing her name is an emotional blast from the past.
I didn’t plan to put the recipe in Summer of Fortune, but suddenly, there it was.
On the top shelf rested a wooden box. Stretching to her full height Maddie carefully brought it down, wiping the dust from the top. She held it in one hand, studying the scenes of the lake carved into the lid. Inside, yellowing recipe cards were written in a spidery hand: Sunday Blackberry Cake, October Relish, Children’s Delight Cookies.
An old fashioned drop cookie, they make the kitchen smell like cinnamon and cloves, an aroma that, in the story, comes to introduce the presence of Aunt Augusta the previous owner of the cabin who is, ahem, no longer with us.
The recipe also provides an introduction to Maddie’s backstory.
Maddie didn’t have any hand-me-down recipes. Most of hers came from magazines. These recipe names conjured up visions of a woman in an apron with streaks of flour on her face, like a character in an old movie. Her own mother had never cooked and Maddie was sure she didn’t own an apron. She had spent most of her time on the couch, watching her soaps with a beer in her hand.
Maddie inhaled deeply the unfamiliar scent of cinnamon and cloves that lingered in the box, and then, closing the lid, she placed the box on the windowsill over the sink where she could admire the carving.
Maddie ended up making the cookies, again and again, a sensory lure her handsome landlord couldn’t resist and a symbol of her move to another kind of life.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy! (Are you out there Raylene?)
I had a house full this week, my niece, her partner and their 5 children visiting and, it being cherry season here in BC, I took the opportunity to make my favorite Cherry Cake. It’s sort of like the French Clafoutis but the beaten egg whites make it more of a cake, less pie. And the almond extract makes it smell amazing!
We’ve been lucky to have a prolific cherry tree for many years and I make this cake form either fresh or frozen cherries. Best eaten the first day – as if you could resist!
First, I want to thank everyone who came to the facebook launch of Home for Christmas, the last of this first batch of Fortune Bay books. (Don’t worry, there should be another one coming out next summer, 2017. Join my mailing list for news of new books.)
It was great to hang out with some readers who are quickly becoming friends, and to meet so many new potential readers from as far away as South Africa, Holland, New Zealand and Australia!
I promised to put up my recipe for fruit cake – guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. So here it is.
The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step.
It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who originally found it in the Toronto Star many years ago. Apparently it was sent in by a reader from Winchester Ontario which, coincidentally is where my sister lives. I love when synchronicity happens!
There are quite a few steps, but worth the trouble. It doesn’t really take that long and you end up with fruitcake to eat and give away.
My recipe says “make in late October”, so I better get at it!