One of my most important family traditions that I want to pass on my kids, is the importance of festive food that you do only for the special occasions and the holidays. So every year for Christmas I bake the traditional Polish cake: Piernink. And every year right before Christmas Eve, my daughters and I cuddle in my bed while reading Christmas stories and waiting for our gingerbread cake to bake.
Except that I’ve “upgraded” my grandma’s recipe, by using a cake mix and some spices! Now it’s so easy to make, that it leaves me more time for doing what’s most important; reading about Santa.
Because let’s face it, even though baking is a great winter pastime, sometimes in the mists of last-minute Christmas preparations its good to have a shortcut recipe, as I like to call them. And with a couple of tricks, a boxed cake can taste just like a secret grandma’s recipe!
And if you’ve never heard of ” Piernik” aka, The Gingerbread Cake, it’s a traditional Polish Xmas cake, made with lots of spices and dark honey. In some families, it’s filled with a sweet prune filling, and in others it’s covered with chocolate ganache. My version is easier, and it involves much less preparation. Which is perfect with these little monkeys.
Now, I don’t use the prune filling ( although it’s pretty good) and I don’t make a chocolate ganache, instead I choose the simplest solution, that my kids love, which is decorating my cake with melted milk chocolate. Honestly, the reason why they can’t wait for the Piernik to be baked, is because they can’t wait to help me decorate it: that is, lick all the chocolate!
That’s why we read and play in my bed. Because it’s their second favorite thing to do, on a snowy afternoon, after they’ve already played outside, and right after licking spoons fool of chocolate! Actually, to be completely honest, they always love playing in my bed, gathering their stuffed animals and pretending it’s their little vet clinic! Ever since my bedroom makeover, my bedroom is more of a mom sanctuary, but when I do let them in, they’re making the most of it!
You can find the recipe in our Hello Holidays look-book here, on page 81, just click on “make it”!
I’m not saying you have to curl up in your bed while you’re making your Piernik, but then again, why wouldn’t you?
Photos in this post where captured by Donna Griffith.