If you’re from Detroit, I hope this column brings you many happy and delicious memories! If you know someone from that area, just ask them about the iconic, fun and fabulous-tasting Bumpy Cake and then sit back and watch them smile. Once you’ve heard of Sanders Bumpy Cake, you may become as obsessed as I am over this decadent chocolate cake with white icing “speed bumps” piped along the top and then covered in a rich and creamy pourable chocolate ganache. Think Hostess Cupcakes, only much more fun and just as tasty. Sanders Bumpy Cake has been around since 1875. Ask anyone from Detroit and they will tell you that this is the go to cake often purchased for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. So get the electric mixer out, and see why this is the ultimate treat for Michiganders, and have a blast going over the speed bumps!
They’re too good. Too good for my own good! If you can imagine the perfect ginger snap or molasses cookie—only soft and chewy—these would come as close to the top of the list as you can get! Just my opinion, of course. But I can’t quit making them and I can’t quit eating them! The black pepper in this recipe threw me off just a bit, even though it’s just a half a teaspoon. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but when I sunk my teeth into this moist, full-of-flavor cookie, I realized exactly what the pepper contributed to the recipe—a cookie with a spicy kick and the perfect chew. In doing a little research about the Black Pepper Cookie, I discovered that just about every nationality has its own version on this scrumptious munchy. Now you have a recipe with the description that that is spoken is every language and culture on earth- “Mmmm!”
Ice water. Would you ever believe that ice water is a main ingredient to a beyond-heavenly-homemade angel food cake? (Oh, there is a cake god!) Rather, there is a family—a three-generation Arizona family that turned water into…well, greatness! The story is so sweet and here it is in Arizona native Marta Owens’ words.
“Jan, my Mom Dorothy Millsaps made this cake during WWII. We lived deep in the Superstition Mountains while my father, Rollie Olson, worked as a cowboy. (Dad was one of the last original Arizona cowboys.) My mother was a city girl but was brave and innovative and adapted to ranch life living without electricity and indoor plumbing. Cooking was a challenge. Although we had no milk, the spring produced cold water. My mother made her own cake flour during those days using cornstarch and whole flour. We raised chickens for the eggs. She beat the egg whites with a fork and a pie pan and I loved the way she kept that pie pan spinning while she whipped up those eggs. Sugar was rationed and she used it sparingly. Mom came up with this recipe using angel food as a guide. It has been the Olson family birthday cake for the past 70 years as we pass it down from one generation to the other. (It is a bit tricky but has become easier with the use of electric mixers. My mother used a large wooden spoon.) We are long time Arizona natives and proud of the fact and our history is centered in the Payson area and the Superstition Mountains where we raised cattle in the Reeves Ranch, Tortilla Flat, J/F Ranch and Hewitt Station area. Life for us was full of adventure and love. I’m just glad that the security we shared was never based on money. Just a family of six doing the best we could in the wilds of Arizona. Mom left us in 1991 and is missed.”
Marta, now thousands more of us will happily keep your Mom’s memory alive with a Rescued Recipe that is absolutely heaven sent!
For anyone who’s afraid to make a pie, meet Scottsdale resident Kelly Sallaway. She baked her pie last week in her 1967 Sunray electric range with no features except an on and off dial. But as Kelly likes to say, “it’s not the wand, it’s the wizard,” and she won First Place and Grand Prize for her double crusted peach pie. Her entry, with a secret “spirited” ingredient in the crust, beat out dozens of cream, nut, and fruit pies in the Pie It Forward contest sponsored by Palo Verde Outreach benefiting veterans via Fischer House and Honor Flight. An Arizona native, Kelly’s baking inspiration comes in part from her grandfather, who settled in Arizona in the 1930’s as a pastry chef, and who cooked for movie stars and presidents in the Hollywood Dude Ranch heyday at the San Marcos in Chandler. Kelly has graciously given up her prize-winning recipe so that we can pie it forward ourselves! It is absolutely peachy and here it is, her own words!
My momma’s best-on-the-planet Rum Cake was always the most requested dessert for Mother’s day, and, yes, we made her bake it (before you get mad, please know that you can’t pull an Italian mom out of the kitchen, ever, even on Mother’s Day).
But this year, we decided to let her off the hook and make something she’d never had before. For some reason, the beautiful Boston Cream Pie with two layers of cake, pastry cream, and chocolate glaze dripping over the top and down the sides, was never included in any of our special occasion menus. We’re making up for that now! Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful moms!