cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cocane Cakes

Oh My Tanenbaum. Story time
I bought a tree. It is a lovely little round pine, a bit doughty, lopsided...but he's mine. Therefore there is no better tree out there. My Parisian tree purchase fared no different then every other situation I have found myself in thus far--a spectacle. I could have gone half a kilometer down the street through the East gate to get a sapling, but of course I didn't do that, don't you know me? No, instead I see it while on a walk, and after 3 minutes I tell the flourist "Je voudrai cette sapine s'il vous plait, c'est combien?--25euros? oui j'en prends!" (I want this tree, how much is it? 25euros, I'll take it) I took the wrapped tree-top that appeared the smallest and thinnest, as I knew it would be perched atop my waist-high refrigerator. The flourist picked it up, il m'a dit "tennez vos bras...op op" (hold out your arms) and he dumped the thing on me like an overfed baby. I carried it home cradled in my arms for over 25 minutes...what were those new reporters filming at the Eglise d'Auteuil metro station? Either way I and my tree are in the backdrop, stumbling around and leaving a Hansel & Grettel trail of needles. Yes the Parisians of my 16th laugh, but then how do they get theirs home? My rapport with my construction workers does indeed continue--I am the crazy morning jogger, and now the tree bringer, laughing and shouting as I walk "Ah le pere noel arrive! Ouiaai! C'est bon c'est bon ahk ahk." I, am not Santa Claus. Mrs. Claus wouldn't be a bad gig though--make cookies all day long. I'm too pale to wear red though. That settles it, I will never be Mrs. Claus.

Unwrap the tree. Poof! Well it's now the size of a very large lawn shrub. Roommate, H, just sits and stares. "I'll fix it I'll fix it. Stop looking at me like that!" I can see the boyfriend on her skype screen rolling in laughter as i lift the beast atop the refrigerator, "see, it fits---" as it falls on me. All it needs is a trim. Greatly reminiscent of the fortnight's ago turkey carving escapade, I hacked for what seemed eternity at my fridge-top shrubbery with a dull steak knife with a broken handle. H continues her eyebrow lifting stare. I am not a completely ridiculous person, it is just the way life seems to happen. It came along, the tree that is. After nearly half of the branches lay on the floor from brutal pruning, we gazed at our pudgy pine. Then I bought it a ribbon.

I seem to have inherited my mother's holiday decor gene--decked in little glass ornaments, garland, beads, bows, and sparkles, I have the best (only) tree in the building. To celebrate let us make the second batch of Christmas cookies. This recipe, like all great ideas, came while in the shower. Candy cane spiral cakes, and something to go with it. Coconut. Candy cane coconut cakes. Cocane cakes. I am quite the card.

On this particular day, the maid decided to clean every nob and pin in the kitchen, therefore i made them in my room. Flash backs to my dorm room baking charades at Gonzaga, though then i had a bowl. Flour and sugar on the bed spread? Rice pans as bowls? Well the 22 stolen butter cubes was one of my better ideas, though crushing candy canes with a metal spoon that sent sugary shrapnel around the room was not.

Cocane Cakes3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 225 grams butter, 1 egg, 1 tblsp milk [so sugar cookies alright] box of candy canes crushed , bag of coconut.

Whisk sugar and butter (room temperature), add milk and egg, add dry ingredients, mix well and divide into rounds. Refrigerate at least two hours. Roll out dough. In a pan mix crushed canes and coconut. Place heavy amount on top of dough and press in with rolling pin (or scotch glass). Using a scone or biscuit cutter (wine glass) cut rounds and cook in 220c for 10 minutes. The outcome to a degree resembles a flat macaroon with hives.

A pinwhweel cookie to the same effect would have been a more desired outcome, however in reflection it would need a moister dough and type of binder between the coconut and crushed mint. They were eaten though...therefore I can only hypothesis they were not a total failure. The two very strange flavors work together--and Christmas time at the Salty Cod will proffer some form of this now married couple. Whether a perfected cocane cake, or a sweet bread? There is time. There is always time, so don't forget to put up the tree before Christmas. This is my 40th post. The Salty Cod is half a year old this week, they grow up so fast.

A bientôt

1 comment:

Núria said...

I love to read your stories... you are funny!!! It's as if I could see you carrying your christmas tree all the way home and struggling with it.
Concerning the cookies... Everybody is mad about cookies, I've never done any, maybe this year is the time to start! Before this month ends (hand on heart, other hand up) I will make some cookies!!!