Happy holidays!! It’s that time of year again–when I break out the mixer and start making all the stuff that will drive me to the gym on January 2. That means Christmas candy. It takes a lot of patience and precision to make candy. So, you may have guessed, I don’t do it much. But once a year, my daughters and I descend on the kitchen and spend the day messing up every dish in the house. It makes for an impressive grocery run. Which means you have to keep yourself from choking up at the cash register. 

A true Southerner does spend an adequate amount of time barefoot (it gets pretty hot down here), but to approach candy day in anything less than tennis shoes is suicide. If you ignore that rule, the back and legs will spend two days making sure you regret it.

This may sound like too much effort, but I also make rum cake on candy day. Anything that involves rum is worth the effort. My version uses two different kinds. So double the pleasure. Plus half of my Christmas gifts are knocked out in 8 hours at home and I get to spend the day with my girls. Therefore, in the balance of things, candy day is a plus. So is this rum cake.

Rum cake

For the cake:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package yellow cake mix (mix only-don’t add the other ingredients)
1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1⁄2 cup cold water
1⁄2 cup cooking oil
1⁄2 cup dark rum

For the glaze: 

1⁄2 cup butter
1⁄4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup coconut or dark rum
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of greased bundt pan. Stir together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and rum, then pour batter over nuts. Bake for one hour. Cool for ten minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Prick the top of the cake with a fork.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar, then boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Brush glaze evenly over top and sides of cake.