D.C. Detour: Moravian Sugar Cakes

Inspired by a quick trip to Winston-Salem, N.C. ...

Remember when you were little and you'd make cookies from scratch with your mom and stick your grubby little hands in the batter at each and every opportunity? My favorite stage was always the beginning when the brown sugar and butter that starts so many cookies were blended together.

I think that's part of the reason I love Moravian sugar cake, a signature specialty of my mom's hometown of Winston-Salem: It's essentially an excuse to eat butter and brown sugar. More bread than cake (the base is actually made with potatoes), the "cakes" are topped with a melted mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. You can toast them or zap them in the microwave for a few seconds to make them sticky and gooey. They're tasty at room temperature, too.

Want to try the sugar cakes yourself? Dewey's Bakery in Winston ships them overnight in packs of three for $14.50 (not including shipping). I recently ordered a batch and they arrived as fresh as can be. They'd also make great holiday gifts.

Any history buffs interested in the Moravians of North Carolina, check out this link.