Pudding Chomeur

I got this recipe from a friend who was from Quebec. This dessert recipe was very popular in Quebec during the depression and remains a favorite in many French Canadian homes to this day.

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup cold butter
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, mix together the brown sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Cover while preparing the batter.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup of butter by pinching between your fingers, or using a fork until the mixture has lumps no larger than crumbs. Make a well in the center, and pour in the milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla all at once. Stir just until all of the dry mixture is absorbed.

Return the sugar mixture to a full boil, and drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the syrup. Cover and simmer over medium heat, without removing the lid, for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the largest dumpling comes out clean.