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Cradle cake is worth the effort

Barbara Pszyk sends her cradle cake recipe with the comment that the effort it takes to make this cake is worth it. Many years ago, utility companies distributed recipe booklets. This recipe for cinnamon rolls has remained a favorite.

For: Florence Vedder of Gulfport.

From: Barbara Pszyk of Spring Hill.

Recipe: Cradle cake.

Cradle Cake

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

\ teaspoon salt

4 eggs at room temperature, separated

2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 square unsweetened chocolate, grated (1 ounce)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{ cup butter, softened (1

stick)

} cup milk, at room temperature

Garnish:

2 squares semisweet chocolate (2 ounces)

3 tablespoons water

Pecan halves

Grease bottom of 9- or 10-inch tube pan; line with waxed paper and set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Fold in chopped nuts and grated chocolate. Spread on bottom and three-quarters up the sides of the prepared pan; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and remaining cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture alternately with milk until blended. Pour this mixture into pan, making sure it is surrounded by meringue on all sides and is lower than the top of the meringue.

Bake at 325 degrees 65 to 75 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Do not invert cake but cool on rack 25 minutes or until sides can be loosened easily with spatula. When cake is thoroughly cool, turn onto serving plate and garnish with chocolate that has been melted with water. Arrange pecan halves in a decorative fashion.

For: Florence Vedder of Gulfport.

From: Marge Molendi of Largo.

Recipe: Cinnamon rolls from Chicago Gas Co. booklet.

Cinnamon Rolls

{ cup milk

\ cup granulated sugar

} teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons softened butter

1 -ounce cake compressed or \-ounce package dry yeast

\ cup water

2 eggs, beaten slightly

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3\ cups sifted all-purpose

flour

} cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

{ cup dark seedless raisins

Icing:

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

5 teaspoons milk

\ teaspoon vanilla extract

Scald milk; stir in \ cup sugar, salt and 3 tablespoons butter; cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water (lukewarm for compressed yeast, very warm for dry). Add yeast mixture to milk mixture. Add eggs and 1{ cups flour; beat until smooth.

Reserve { cup flour for pastry cloth; beat in remaining flour. Turn onto lightly floured pastry cloth; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn dough in bowl to lightly grease top. Cover; let rise until double in bulk, about 1{ hours. Punch down; let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch down; roll out on floured pastry cloth to 9- by 18-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Combine } cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle raisins over sugar mixture. Leave about { inch at edge uncovered. Starting with 18-inch edge, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Cut in half crosswise. Cut each half into 9 equal slices. Place cut side down in two greased 8-inch round cake pans. Cover; let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake in 375-degree oven 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on racks. Drizzle icing over top. Yield: 1{ dozen rolls.

Icing: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Recipe requests

Marge Molendi of Largo is looking for the recipe for an Italian bread, possibly potato dough, with cheese and tomato. It is baked in a pan like cornbread. She enjoyed it in an Arlington Heights, Ill., restaurant, but the restaurant wouldn't share the recipe. Do you have it?

You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked For It, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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