Last week, we had a REAL snow day...Jack and I home from school and work watching the snow flakes gently fall from the sky for hours upon hours piling up as they hit the ground and the plants and the deck to make everything a true winter white.
We made the most of our day...rising, a bit begrudgingly on mama's part, before six and setting out with no plans except to keep warm and enjoy ourselves. Our freedom led us to Jack's "play room" to read books and to play with blocks and cars. Next, we climbed up the stairs to our office/music/art/workout room that I will now begin referring to as our "studio" in the interest of saving time and we did some major redecorating. I've been wanting to rearrange the space for some time now, never really feeling like it invited us in and beckoned us to be creative in it's original layout, and, so, on our snow day, we jumped right in pulling furniture from one wall to another and finding the perfect design. I'm quite happy with what we've done with the space, which reminds me that I need to start sharing our home with you. Way back when, I promised photos of the rooms in our new home. I guess I've been stalling because all the rooms only felt partially complete. I'm excited to report that with a few finishing touches, the studio will be complete soon and I'm already working on a post to show you Jack's "play room".
After our redecorating project, we bundled up in our coats, mittens, gloves, hats, sweaters, and rain boots and took a mid-morning snowy walk. It always amazes me how quiet and peaceful the world becomes when the snow is falling. Jack found it fun to lay on the snowy sidewalks waving his arms all around him until snow found it's way into his coat, making him cold and wet and ready to return to the indoors to drink hot chocolate.
Settling back indoors, we ventured into the room that always calls to us in the most familiar of ways, the kitchen (another room I'm ready to share on here...I will start putting these posts together). I longed to bake, to warm our house with the heat from the oven and to fill it with the smell of winter spices. Standing in a kitchen void of butter, the staple to most baking adventures, I remembered reading about a butter-less cake on the lovely and always inspiring Roost blog. I scoured my pantry finding items that might work well together and before I knew it, Jack and I were cracking eggs, measuring oat flour, and stirring the wet ingredients into the dry. We adapted ideas from several recipes and used the items we had on hand to create good-for-you mini cakes that taste of winter.
Alone, they are not too sweet, which is exactly why the tops make a perfect addition to your breakfast, lunch, or snack. With a touch of vanilla bean creme fraiche, the mini cakes are a divine end to a snowy day's dinner.
MINI CINNAMON HONEY CAKES
3 cups oat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon nutmeg 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1 cup apple cider
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a different bowl, pour into dry, mixing to incorporate. Set aside.
SPECKLED VANILLA HONEY
1/2 cup honey 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded
Mix the vanilla seeds with the honey until incorporated.
VANILLA BEAN CREME FRAICHE
1 cup creme fraiche 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded
Mix the vanilla seeds into the creme fraiche until incorporated.
Pour 1 teaspoon of vanilla honey into 9 wells of a greased muffin pan. I used a 12-well pan but only filled 9.
Spoon batter over the speckled honey, filling each well to the top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow mini cakes to cool slightly in muffin pan.
In order to show off the gooey honey saturated cake bottoms, I took a knife and trimmed off the cake tops so to create a flatter surface for the cake to rest on. Like I mentioned earlier, the cake alone is not too sweet, so the trimmed tops make a perfect addition to your lunch or snack, so definitely save them!
Cheers to snow days! But, admittedly, I'm happy they are gone for now...Pretty, but quite inconvenient as the whole of Seattle seems to shut down!