Last week was exceptionally “mom-centric” for me. As I mentioned in my guilt bars post, I spent a few days with 6 dear friends of mine from all over the globe. Though we initially met through blogging, many have since turned to other creative pursuits. But we still remain “The Ladies”, and still remain close and connected (though mostly through Skype and social media).
What I love about this group is how we’ve blossomed beyond talk about “what to charge” and “are you going to that conference”?, to real talk about the important stuff. Kids. Divorce. Money. Career shifts. I love that we are all there for one another – chiming in with advice, support, love and many (many) expletives (when appropriate). And I really loved, that for the first time ever, we all got a chance to be together – spending quality time just eating, drinking, strolling and talking. And laughing. And hurling expletives (when appropriate).
Tucked into the middle of this weekend was a lunch I attended with 2 families who I’ve grown close to through Noah’s pre-school. Each is headed up by a mom that I absolutely adore, and it was a joy to have all of our families together on a sunny spring Sunday. I offered to bring dessert, and in thinking about what to make, this long-lost friend popped into my head:
The recipe is from”The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook” – which I was given as a gift almost 30 years ago. The spine is cracked and the pages are wrinkled, stained and heavily noted. It was THE cookbook that I turned to over and over again in my early years of cooking and baking – and though I rarely use it anymore (it’s been replaced by fancier books, the web and magazines), I can’t bear to part with it.
One of the first desserts I ever made was this cinnamon-cream torte – which quickly became my mom’s favorite dessert. It is not at all difficult but it’s a bit labor-intensive – so I only made it for her, for occasions like birthdays and Mother’s Day. But as I became a more adventurous and experienced baker over the years, it fell by the wayside for more complicated and fancy-schmancy offerings.
But somehow it felt like the perfect dessert to make for this lunch – especially as we approach Mother’s Day.
Much like an icebox cake, this torte is comprised of crisp, wafer-thin cinnamon cookies, layered with freshly whipped cream. The cookies absorb the whipped cream and the whole thing turns into a light, sweet, cakelike confection.
Although it’s almost retro in its simplicity, it is elegant and delicious – and looks so pretty too.
Scroll to the bottom for more delicious treats to make Mom – and wishing you all a lovely lovely Mother’s Day!
from The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut (9) 8″ circles of waxed paper (I use an 8″ cake pan as a guide).
Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy – add cinnamon and egg and beat till blended. Add flour and beat on low till evenly mixed, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
Moisten a cookie sheet with a damp cloth (this will keep the waxed paper from moving around). Place two waxed paper rounds on the sheet and put 1/4 cup of batter on each. Using an angled spatula, spread the batter thinly and evenly. Bake 6-8 minutes, till lightly browned around the edges. Cool the cookies on the sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter (cookies can be made up to 3 days in advance. Carefully stack on a plate and wrap in plastic wrap – store at room temperature).
At least 4 hours before serving, beat heavy cream till stiff peaks form. Working with one cookie at a time, carefully peel the waxed paper off. Place cookie on a flat serving plate and spread with about 1/2 cup whipped cream. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream. Lightly sift the top with cocoa.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow cookies to soften.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt