A few weeks ago, my church had a Sunday afternoon potluck picnic lunch to kickoff summer. Now, I don't know about you, but for me, church picnics conjure up all sorts of memories.
My father was a choir director at our church when I was a small child, and we had many a picnic in our backyard or a local park. The smell of hot dogs getting blackened and crispy on the grill, ice cold lemonade in plastic cups with sweat beads dripping down the sides, cool and creamy coleslaws filled with a rainbow of veggies...if I close my eyes, I'm right back there wearing my favorite cotton sundress and my jelly shoes chasing fireflies.
But, what I remember the most were the desserts. Homemade apple pies that melted in your mouth, rocky road brownies that were so chewy your front teeth were covered in goodness, buttery pound cakes that sent a tingle to your toes. All baked with love by adorable Christian women that want nothing more than to stuff another calorie-laden delectable down your throat. Heaven.
What to bring??? The choice seemed obvious: I must be the Dessert Lady.
After thumbing through all my Southern cookbooks filled with ooey, gooey desserts, I settled on Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake. While I had never made a sheet cake before, I decided that if it bombed, how bad would it be too bury my face in the bowl to lick the chocolatey goodness and then pick up some fruit at the store? Yeah.
I had all the ingredients on hand, and the recipe was basically foolproof.
The sweet smells of dark cocoa and rich vanilla wafted through my house all afternoon, taunting my taste buds for a sample. (Of course, I have to make sure it is edible.)
Finally! The cake was cooled and ready to be cut...just sitting there on the counter with the glorious gloss of the frosting reflecting off the light in the kitchen...calling my name. Kristina. Eat me. Now.
My knife slowly sunk into the cake like you sink into your favorite comfy chair with a good book. The cake was so airy, so light. The silkiness of the frosting matched with the crunch of pecans set off fireworks in my mouth. Que eyes rolling back in head and deep, guttural moaning.
I had just created sin on a plate. Utterly dangerous. Praise the Lord.
(In case you missed the link above...get the recipe here: Chocolate Sheet Cake.)