Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thank you

The ornaments are back in their box, the absence of snowmen and garland has the house looking normal yet sparse and it is not without melancholy that Christmas carols no longer fill the air of the Pierce household.  Christmas has come and gone, and though handing someone a wrapped present at this date is less than ideal, I do have a few deliveries to make to the friends we celebrated with this year.

I started baking Christmas gifts 4 years ago after the birth of my child left a staggering mark on my discretionary income.  Over the years, as I improved at budgeting I also improved with baking and therefore kept the tradition alive.  Whether is a scone with jam, or a simple sweet bread this gift always seems to say exactly what I need it to: thank you for celebrating with us, I appreciate our time together.

I came across this recipe in the December issue of Food & Wine.  Thus far, I have baked 6 separate loaves and still plant to whip up another 3.  With it's sweet glaze and citrus-tasting cake, this is a perfect thank you gift, a hostess gift for New Year's Eve, or just an indulgent breakfast before New Years resolutions take hold.

Lemon-Glazed Citrus-Yogurt
Pound Cake
Recipe By: Food & Wine Magazine, December 2011
I doubled the glaze as it made it just that much more indulgent.

2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt (I used greek)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

3 TB fresh lemon juice
3 TB granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 TB unsalted butter, softened

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour a 9 1/2-by-5 inch glass loaf pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk the grapefruit juice and yogurt.  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar on a medium-high speed until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and lemon zest.  Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating additions; scrape down the bowl as necessary.  
  2. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Tent the cake with foil halfway through the baking to slow the browning.  Transfer to a rack to cool for 20 minutes, then unmold and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, make the glaze.  In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the lemon juice and granulated sugar at high power for 20 seconds, until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer 2 TB of the lemon syrup to a bowl and whisk in the confectioners sugar and butter.  Using a pastry brush, brush the lemon syrup all over the cake.  Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the syrup to seep in.  Spread the sugar glaze over the cake and let stand until completely dry, 30 minutes.
This was a popular gift among family and friends.  Hope you enjoy the remaining days of 2011..... any resolutions worth mentioning? 

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