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As Christmas approaches, I’ve been doing lots of baking to keep my mind at ease when I get sad about not being able to spend the holidays with my Gaga anymore. This will be my first Christmas without her since I’ve been alive. She loved the holidays, especially Christmas, and she passed that along to us. The holidays are a big deal. There are just so many fond memories my family and I have spending Christmas with her, now it’s just part of who we are.
So as these cakes are beginning to pile up at my house, I thought it was a good idea to spread some holiday cheer. My hips will be so thankful in January! That was also something my grandmother loved to do at Christmas. She sent cookies in the mail to family who were far away, she made cakes for her mailman, hairdresser, and other neighbors, and whenever we came to visit she sent us home with magic cookie bars for the ride home.
As I begin to get my list together of who I wanted to share some festive treats with, I picked up a 24 Pack Coke de Mexico Coca-Cola from Sam’s Club. Now what’s funny is, I said I was doing this to keep my mind off of her, but it really turned more into celebrating my granny. She love Coca-Cola. She had a room off of her kitchen we called “The Coke Room” because she had all kinds of Coke memorabilia everywhere from the 50’s, from metal soda shoppe signs for the wall, to dishes, and even a wooden wagon that held old Coke bottles. They look just like these glass bottles I found in Sam’s Club!
So I decided to make a brown sugar version of my grandmother’s pound cake, using the soda in it, and deliver it with one of the Cokes themselves. They are made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. I think the glass bottles give it a fancy look, and they came in large pack (24) making them great to give out, and I can use the rest for entertaining this season.
Coca-Cola Brown Sugar Pound Cake
**makes one bundt cake, or five mini loaf cakes**
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2c. Vegetable Shortening
2 1/2c. Light Brown Sugar
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
3c. All Purpose Flour
1/2tsp. Baking Powder
1/4tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1c. Coke de Mexico Coca-Cola
Preheat oven to 350. Cream brown sugar and butter together with a mixer until smooth.
Beat in one egg at a time, then add vanilla extract. In a separate bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
Alternate adding the Coke and the flour to the butter mixture, mixing after each addition until smooth.
Pour cake batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 minutes. (One hour for a bundt cake.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before packaging. Keep one and share the rest!
I passed these huge Nutcrackers on my way out, and it hit me! I love the Nutcracker ballet, and the shape of these bottles would make great decorations and could double as favors!
The nutcracker centerpiece proved to be a little labor intensive, but he turned out very cute and it was fun. I made him from a bunch of scrap papers I had in my craft stash, pulled cotton balls (for his hair and beard) and some markers, and just went by the picture I took of the ones in-club. You could just as easily print a cutout of one if you’re going to do several of them.
For the ballerina tutu, I just individually looped small pieces of tulle around ribbon, and tied it around the Coke bottle with the ribbon. I fastened the nutcracker to his bottle with a piece of tape. The look on people’s faces when they get these are going to be priceless!
This year I learned that sharing joy is the best way to keep joy. I think Gaga would be proud.
Are you entertaining for Christmas? You can pick up 4-pack, 2-liter Coca-Cola and Diet Coke at the special price of $3.98 at Sam’s Club during the holiday season!