Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Hidden Streusel
by Sparticus, SuSu, MaceVindaloo, GringaMon
Nancy Drew knew something wasn't right. She could feel it in her gut. The bundt pan should have been there a week ago, but it was nowhere to be seen. She had a cake to bake, and she needed that pan to make a special cake with a hidden streusel layer! "I know it's hidden," mumbled Nancy, "but this is ridiculous!"
She asked at the Post Office nothing. So she called the East Coast Bureau of Bundt Affairs and got a tracking number. Back to the post office. The woman behind the counter gave her a number she should call with cryptic instructions: "Ask for Daisy. She drives Route #62."
The next morning, Nancy Drew went to an isolated phone booth at the edge of an abandoned movie production lot, where she knew it would be difficult to trace her call. She dialed carefully, checking each digit.
"Hello, may I please speak to the driver of Route #62?"
Silence for several minutes. Nancy wondered what she was getting herself into. Then ...
"Hi, this is Nancy Drew. Where is my @*#$in' package?"
"I left it under the mailboxes. If you don't pick it up fast enough, we take it back. It floats around the system for a little while, we try to redeliver, then it gets sent back."
"Oh. This time please leave a slip in my mailbox so this doesn't happen again."
Nancy Drew slammed down the receiver, fuming and furious. She hoped the package would arrive in the next couple days, and it would not wing its way back to the East Coast Bureau. All she could do was wait.
Later that day, during their daily afternoon tea, Nancy confessed her tale of woe to her friends and co-detective, Bess Marvin and George Fayne. It was for Bess that the bundt cake was to be delivered.
Nancy's plump, comely friend bess burst out into tears, "Oh what shall we do? I'm so helpless without the symbols of my oppressed domestication!"
Her cousin, the tomboyishly named George, rolled her eyes in incredulity. "Come off it, Bess, you sissy! it's supposed to be under the mailboxes, you heard the driver of Route #62!"
As Bess dried her sniffles, Nancy ignored the quibbling kin, and wracked her brains for a solution. Should she simply wait for the package to show up? Should be seek a higher authority? Should she dye her hair more strawberry blonde, rather than the titian hue she'd favored for so long?
Then it struck her, and she couldn't stop herself from explaining aloud, "I can put myself into another package and get it delivered to the same address. If my calculations are right, it will lead us straight to the lost package!"
The others gasped. "That's a good plan, all right," crowed George, her head nodding vigorously.
"Why Nancy!" Bess gushed, "That's just so manly smart of you!"
Even better, it meant that Nancy would be able to make Hannah Gruen's especially welcoming pineapple bundt cake with the holy-moly hidden streusel layer for Helen Corning, whom she would be visiting soon! "Let's go, chums," declared the girl sleuth! "We have to get the package pronto, so we can hide that yummy streusel layer with plenty of time!"
George nodded vigorously again, and felt a little dizzy (which she rather liked). "Even Carson Drew River Heights' best lawyer and your Dad won't suspect the hidden streusel!"
Bess clapped her hands, "Won't the older Helen be pleased!"
In a bowl, dump together the yellow cake mix (minus the 2 tablespoons used for the streusel, of course), eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, water, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture well for two minutes on medium speed, using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Be sure to scrape down the sides to incorporate everything together.
Pour half the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the whole surface, then scatter the crushed pineapple evenly over the streusel. Carefully pour the remainder of the cake mixture over the pineapple layer, spreading it gently so that it's even. Bake for about 40 minutes, or till the cake starts to come away from the edges of the pan and it's well-browned. Cool on a rack till it's about room temperature.
If you've buttered and floured the bundt pan properly, you shouldn't have trouble getting the cake to come out: place a plate over the bundt pan, then turn it quickly, giving it a tap or a bang to loosen the cake. Slice, serves up to 24.
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