Hello, HI-ers! It’s my birthday today. Yes, I’m turning the big ol’ 25 — officially one quarter of a century old. I’m usually tasked with bringing cakes to different family and friend birthday parties, but what does one do on her own birthday when she’s the designated baker? Why, make yourself your favorite treats anyway, of course!
This recipe comes to us from the L.S. Ayres’ Tea Room Recipes and Recollections book. Yes, they’ve got more than Chicken Velvet Soup there! These delightful little finger cookies are the perfect treat for the holidays, or just because.
And, in exciting news, the L.S. Ayres Tea Room is open for the holidays (and decorated accordingly!). From the management:
“This is an exciting time of the year at the Indiana State Museum as we welcome back families that have made the L.S. Ayres Tea Room a significant part of their holiday experience,” said Indiana State Museum Vice President of Operations Susan Dyar. “This year Kahns Catering has prepared an amazing menu including tea room classics like Chicken Velvet Soup, as well as a variety of new offerings. We’re sure visitors of all generations will find something they’ll enjoy.”
Stopping at the Ayres Tea Room is a tradition for so many Indianapolis residents — maybe it’s time to make it a tradition for your family this year?
Now onto the pumpkin fingers. These are traditionally served with Ayres’ chicken salad, but I think they’d be just fine with about anything you paired them with! The loaves are baked for quite a while, set aside to cool, and then spread with whipped cream cheese. A Kitchenaid mixer will be handy to whip up the filling, but the truly motivated could manage it by hand.
12 oz sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
handful of pecans
handful of raisins
12 oz pumpkin (not mix)
1 8 oz package cream cheese
Blend together sugar, salt, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix oil and eggs; add pecans, raisins and pumpkin. Grease 2 4-ounce loaf pans; place dough equally in pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 70-90 minutes. Cool on racks for 30 minutes. Whip cream cheese until spreadable. Split loaves lengthwise; fill with cream cheese and cut into finger-size servings.
Source: Ayres’ Tea Room Recipes and Recollections, by way of Just A Pinch