Sunday, March 9, 2008

Elephant Ears

There's a story behind this. About 1993, when I'd had my stand mixer for a couple of years, my husband griped that I never made anything good. Cakes, brownies, mousse - if those aren't good, then what is? "Sponge Cake and elephant ears," was the response I got. To my inquiry of who ever made those for him, he responded that sponge cake was his grandfather's favorite, so his grandmother made it. Fair enough. And the elephant ears? "The Blue Elephant Bakery in Danbury used to make those for me." Not Fair! I can't complete with a Bakery! And, they made them for anyone with some money! I learned to make sponge cake, and made a variation on it, Lemon Sponge Cake, and he's been very happy with it. But the elephant ears still rankled with me, all these years later. So, last weekend, while looking for something else, I found a recipe for elephant ears! Holy Cow, or maybe, Holy Elephant! Yesterday, I got up at 10AM made a batch of 24 as an anniversary gift to my dearly beloved, so they'd be done before he got out of bed. Having given one to each of the six of us currently in the house, he started with 18; he's down to 5 now. So, I guess these were every bit as good as those at the Blue Elephant.


1-1/4 cups warm milk
3 tsp yeast (6 if you're impatient, like me)
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the dough ingredients together. On my bread machine, I use the "pasta dough" setting, which is 14 minutes long. The dough was a soft, slippery, buttery ball. Split the dough in half, and leat each ball rise until doubled in size. Roll each ball out into approximately a 12" square. Sprinkle half of the filling on each square, and roll up, jelly roll style. Cut each half into 12 pieces, and lay on greased cookie sheets (I used small cookie sheets, and put 6 on a sheet). Squish each flat with your palm (yes, let your inner 6 year old join in the process). They'll be about 5" diameter. Let them ris
e 20 to 30 minuts, or until doubled in thickness. Sprinkle the topping on them, and top each sheet with waxed paper. Mash them flat through the waxed paper again, this time with the rolling pin, squishing the topping into them. Immediately put them in a preheated 400 degree oven, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. I cooked mine for 4 minutes, then reversed the sheets on the top rack for the ones on the bottom, so they'd brown evenly. Remove to a cooling rack for a few minutes, then serve. Not too sweet, but enough to conquer any sweet tooth.

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