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Isaac's Belated Birthday Bundt Cake

Isaac's sixtieth birthday was last week, but between my schedule and his health, we didn't really celebrate. As long as I had today off, I declared it birthday day. Here's the cake.

Pumpkin Walnut Bundt Cake with Spiced Rum Glaze
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp spiced rum
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (approx. 2 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2/3 cup barley flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a Bundt pan really, really well.

Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until well mixed. It will be crumbly, not creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well until it is very creamy and lemon-colored, then add the pumpkin. Mix until just blended.

Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients about a third at time, mixing gently with the machine or by hand. Stir in the walnuts.

Spread the batter evenly in the Bundt pan. Bang the bottom of the pan a few times on the table to shake out any air bubbles. It will pick up the details of the mold much better this way. Bake for one hour, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes ("no more, no less," according to the official Nordic Ware site ), then invert onto a plate. (Don't pick it up with bare hands; use hot pads.) With luck, it comes out in one beautiful piece.

Captain's Rum Glaze
  • 2 tbsp spiced rum
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

Stir together, then drizzle over top of the cake.

Alternately, dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.

The alert reader may notice significant similarities to the previously-posted Banana Cake. This is hardly accidental. Much of my baking consists of tweaking one recipe to accommodate other ingredients.

The aforementioned Nordic Ware site suggests spraying cooking oil on the pan, then dusting with flour, but I haven’t been thrilled with the results. I liked the butter, but I could see that dusting with flour would have helped the cake climb up the sides of the pan. However, the result was dandy anyway.

Can't Leave Well Enough Alone Oatmeal Cookies 1.1

This one is adapted from the oatmeal cookie recipe that comes on the Quaker Oats oatmeal package. My variations are in brown.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup barley flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried currants

Creme the butter and sugars together, add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix into butter mixture. Do not overbeat.

Add the oatmeal, nuts and currants. Incorporate into other ingredients.

Bake at 350° for 12-16 minutes, until light brown. Let cool on the baking sheet.

This makes a thinner, crisper cookie than the all-wheat flour version. I've also made this with a combination of spelt and brown rice flours, which makes an even thinner cookie.

I like to use a cookie scoop; mine holds about a tablespoon and a half, one really rounded tablespoon.

You could use raisins, but I don't like raisins. If I can't find dried currants (try the health food grocer), dried cranberries work just dandy.