the gregarious homebody

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Nearly Dead Dog and a Recipe

I sincerely thought I was going to kill my dog this morning. He's just lucky he didn't commit his crime the day before yesterday.

Today is S's 13th birthday and our family tradition is to start the day off with a birthday cake breakfast. Not just any cake, though. It has to be Cynde's Cinnamon Flop. This cake is ridiculously simple (it has to be--my mom usually sucked as a baker) and amazingly delicious. And my mom made it for us for our birthday breakfast (and loads of other times) every year I can remember. One year she made two for my brother Brent's--one for the 5 of us and one just for him. He took it to his bedroom for safekeeping.

So I thought since S was a teenager now (OMG), I would make him his own. He LOVES this new tradition! He cut his in half and ate it in record time. Meanwhile, I sliced a piece of the other one and took it upstairs to read my morning blogs and snuggle with Annie. Yes, I left them both on top of the stove, but I put one of them (S's) behind some sheet pans and the other one behind a heavy flashlight. I thought they were safe.

S's "slice." Note cinnamony-brown sugar goodness

Then I heard a crash.
But did I think anything of it? Nope. I just assume S broke something and trusted him to clean it up. Until about 20 minutes later when I heard his "Uh-oh."

Here comes the dead dog.

The Pyrex round dish that my mother used every time she made the cake was in a thousand pieces on the floor with the all-but-one-slice whole cake GONE. I felt MURDEROUS. "WHAT DID YOU DO?????" was about the only thing I could do/say. Of course Muttel looked contrite/guilty. Of COURSE they tell us he has no real idea why I was angry because he is a dog. But I honestly think he did know and I was really annoyed to not get an apology. At least he didn't eat the Birthday Boy's cake. At least he had the decency to not lick his lips.

From now on it will make me sad to bake Cynde's Cinnamon Flop in something other than that pan. A little part of me will cry inside the first time I have to. But that cake is so good I won't stop baking it for sentimentality's sake. It's that good.

Right, Muttel?

Cynde's Cinnamon Flop

deceptively delicious, *wildly adaptable

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

About 1 1/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 tablespoon cinnamon, or more to taste

1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch round Pyrex (*sniff, weep-weep*) pan, or something comparable if you don't have one *gulp* like I don't anymore, with Pam.

For best results, get a pan like this. Well, not exactly like this.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Pour in milk gradually, stirring to combine. Batter should be easily stir-able, but not soupy. Pour into pan.
Dot top with butter bits, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar (really good if some of the brown sugar is in chunks) and then swirl a little with a knife, or better, with a finger (yum!).
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. Let cool (in a safe place) for 15-20 minutes and then serve. This is best if eaten soon after baking because it gets breadier as it cools (not that that's a bad thing!).
Baker's note: I realize there's no vanilla in this. I think the origins of this are some sort of "war cake" so it's pretty humble. I've tried it with vanilla and, believe it or not, found it too cloying.
But that's just me.
*Variations: Add any or all of the following, either sprinkling on top or mixing in:
--Chocolate Chips (or any kind of chip--my kids like it topped with M&M's!)
--Berries (may take a little longer to bake, especially if berries are frozen)

And, believe it or not, my mom has made it without the sugar, topped it with butter and cheese, and served it with chili!

I would LOVE to hear if anyone out there makes this--and makes it their own with some funky add-ons. Cynde would be so proud.


adozeneggs said...

I've never made this, but it sounds and looks great.
Ugh, the dog, and that look! My Lucy got at so many baked goods when we first got her. A double batch of lemon squares (hospital stay-$600), a whole pan of brownies and 3/4 of a sour cream coffee cake eaten off the plate, while it was on the counter.
Lily isn't so bad, but that's just because Lucy got us trained properly for the next dog.
Sorry about your dish, we must be able to find another one like it, no?

jen said...

I know I can get another one, but it won't be THAT one, ya know?

I hope today was better for you.

margie said...

Jen - I'm going to try this recipe. Cynde has a very special place in Matty's heart so I know we will think of her as we eat it. Thanks for sharing. (Don't be too hard on Muttel; he was hungry.)

xoxo margie

adozeneggs said...

I know what you mean about the baking dish.
Hey Happy B-Day to the boy!
BTW what's going on with him and his "older woman"??
And that biotch can't let go. I'm in the process of writing a funny post for next week.
In the meantime I tried to email the note to you, but my email is effed up!

jen said...

Oh he's "moved on" and can you believe he broke up with her ON FACEBOOK by changing his status to "single." I am apparently raising a douchebag. NOT. I made him call her on the phone and say he was sorry. Men.

I'm on the edge of my seat....!

drollgirl said...

oh that doggie looks so sad and guilty!!!

i can't wait to try this cake.

super post!!!!

jen said...

THanks! Let me know how it turns out!

Judy said...

I can only serve my mother's lemon cake on the ugly plate she served it on when she was still baking. I have much nicer plates but I can't use them.

My sister's dog once ate the vegetarian dish mom had prepared for a guest back when nobody ate like that so it was a special thing mom had to do to be a considerate hostess.

adozeneggs said...

Well I'm glad he's moved on! When I was that age, I liked the older boys myself. Funny that I married a younger man!!
I just sent an email from my ADE account, let me know if you get it at some point today.
the word verification is troutsr (I thought it was funny)


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