Whew, what a week! Hubs and I have been busy getting ready for tomorrow, which is Halloween (in case you forgot!). :-)
Every year, we put on a big display in the yard for the neighborhood. So much that I have to take the day off work to help set it up, and we build most of what we display ourselves. We have animatronics, and sound, and lots of fun stuff. It's very Disney-esque. We also dress up and hand out candy on the driveway.
We've become that house!
Anywho, have you made your fruitcake? If so, it's time to baste babies! Be sure to baste every week, so they're nice and boozey (this also helps keep them moist)! Here's the second recipe and this one is my favorite. I love the other one just as well, but I have a soft spot for gingerbread, and basically all things gingery.
Gingerbread Forest "Rum Cake"
½ to ¾ liter brandy or cherry brandy
1 large box (1 lb) of golden, seedless raisins
½ lb chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
2 ½ cups sifted, all purpose flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup molasses
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ cup orange juice
1 cup seedless, blackberry jam
24 hours before baking: Pour brandy, raisins, and nuts into a glass dish and let macerate for 24 hours.
When ready to bake: Strain fruit and nut mixture and reserve infused brandy for basting. Preheat oven at 275°. Beat butter and sugar till very light and fluffy, then add molasses. Beat in eggs. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix in half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add orange juice and jam, then add the rest of the flour mixture.
Add strained fruit and nut mixture to batter and mix with a wooden spoon. Take two loaf pans and line them with parchment paper (this is important). If you do not use parchment paper, the cakes will stick, even with non-stick pans! Spray parchment paper with Pam and spoon batter into loaf pans. Bake for 3 ½ hours.
Cool in pans until they reach room temp. Poke holes in the top of the cakes with a toothpick and basted cakes liberally with reserved, infused brandy. Unwrap cakes, turn over, poke holes in the bottom of cakes, and baste. Wrap cakes in parchment, place in Rubbermaid containers in the refrigerator.
Baste cakes on top and bottom with reserved, infused brandy once a week until Christmas.