I made vasilopita on December 31st this year. We didn't quite stay up until midnight to eat it, but we did have a little party before bedtime. I explained to my children about the miracle of St. Basil, and that the person who received the coin would be blessed for the year. We agreed we all hoped Daddy would get it, but the girls also thought it would be nice if it was in the slice for the household, so that everyone would be blessed.
I don't have a special coin, so I just looked through what I had. I found a 2005 buffalo nickel - which was at least unique, and from the year we were married. We used the recipe I found several years ago, which is really really yummy. I cut it in half this year, because we also had a phanouropita to eat (more on that later...) Here's my cut-in-half recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
1 tablespoon white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 8 inch round cake pan (I used a pie pan). Cream the butter and sugar together, then stir in the flour and mix until mealy. Add the eggs, baking powder and milk, mixing well. Then combine the lemon juice and baking soda, stir into the batter. Pour into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and gently drop the coin in to the half-baked cake. Arrange the nuts and sugar over the cake (I write the year with the almonds then liberally sprinkle sugar all over), then return it to the oven for 20 additional minutes, until cake springs back to the touch. Some add the coin after baking and cover the hole with sugar. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes and serve warm.
To my delight, the coin was in fact in Daddy's slice, which gave me much hope for the year that our prayers will be answered. Many years, dear!