Recently I encountered a dilemma when I unearthed a recipe for Mary Todd Lincoln’s Vanilla Almond Cake. Though I loved the idea of propagating it and, even saying, “Mary Todd Lincoln’s Vanilla Almond Cake” is rather pleasant, it seemed like a stretch to call Mrs. Lincoln a “star.” Though certainly a dynamic (though depressive) early FLOTUS, I just didn’t feel like Mrs. Lincoln should be aggregated with Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, and the rest of the EWTS gang. Then two serendipitous things happened that augured well for Mary Todd’s tasty treat: Sally Field’s portrayal of Lincoln put the faded FLOTUS back on the map, followed quickly by the revelation of Field’s dynamic peanut granola recipe which I found in an old book. That’s when it occurred to me to create a sort of EWTS meta mash-up, and voilá!
Sally Field’s Peanut Butter-Honey Granola
boiling hot water
1 cup raisins
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dired figs, snipped
1 cup peanuts
1. Pour boiling water over raisins to plump them; let stand 10 minutes, drain, reserve.
2. In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey and cinnamon, heat thoroughly.
3. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
4. Scatter oats in bottom of a large baking dish or shallow roasting pan. Pur warm peanut mixture over oats, stirring gently to coat oats. Spread mixture with your hands.
5. Bake in pre-heated 300 degree F. oven 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Turn off oven. Stir in raisins, figs and nuts.
7. Let mixture dry in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
8. Store in a cool dry place.
9. Great to serve as a snack or over ice cream.
Note: Sally advises, “The texture is both loose, and with some lumped together. Eat it by the handful. It’s usually gone before I know it!” This granola is great served over mocha or almond ice cream, or used as a topping for fresh peach cobbler.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s Vanilla Almond Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 dash salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream sugar, butter and vanilla.
Sift together cake flour and baking powder three times.
Add to creamed mixture alternatively with milk.
Stir in almonds.
Gently fold in the egg whites.
Pour into two greased and floured 9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Bring to boiling, sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt. Boil until sugar dissolves.
Put egg whites in mixing bowl. Start beater and while egg whites are beating, very slowly add hot syrup.
Beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
Beat in vanilla for one more minute.