Tag-Archive for ◊ coffeecake ◊

23 Sep 2011 Apple Pie Cake

With a name like “Apple Pie Cake,” how could I not try this recipe?  I saw a picture of this Apple Pie Cake on Pinterest a few days ago.  (OMG have you visited Pinterest?   I happily waste a lot of time on that website.  I love, love, love it!  It’s like I am writing my own magazine.  I choose the subjects, the articles, and the pictures and have the whole thing saved so I can flip through the pages whenever I want…, but I digress 🙂 Onto this fabulous recipe…!

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.  I have never been a big fan of Martha. To be honest, she scares me.  Doesn’t she seem a bit abrupt?  And imperial?  I get the feeling she’s looking  down her nose at me.  I feel frumpy and incompetent when she’s on TV.  It’s a surprise I tried this recipe actually!  I’m so glad I did though.

I love fruit based desserts.  Mix some fruit with flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon, bake it until it all melts together and I’ll fall all over myself getting to the table. This recipe results in sort of an apple crisp turned pie that looks like a cake!  De-licious! Easier-than-pie and much easier-than-cake. It’s best eaten the day it’s made, the crust softens a bit after a night in the refrigerator, but no one would turn down a leftover slice. No one.

I tried a slice of this with whipped cream, and a slice of it without whipped cream.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I liked it better without the whipped cream.   I haven’t tried this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream yet.  I guess I should make another,  just to test that out 😉

I found the recipe at MarthaStewart.com.  And I did make a few changes to the recipe…  The original recipe called for 5 lbs of apples (about 12).  I bought that many, but only used about 3 ½ lbs (6 large apples).  I added a bit of sugar, 1/3 cup, to the apples with the cinnamon, but Martha didn’t.  You can leave the extra sugar out if you’d like.

Apple Pie Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided use)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3-4 pounds (about 6) tart apples, such as Granny Smith
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • dash of nutmeg (optional, I added this, I love nutmeg…)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a food processor, electric mixer, or pastry cutter, cut in butter until the mixture forms pea-size pieces.
  3. Press 2/3 of the mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch spring form pan.
  4. Peel apples, cut into thin slices, and place in a bowl. Pour off any accumulated liquid.  (I didn’t have any)
  5. Toss apple slices with remaining teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice, and optional 1/3 cup granulated sugar.
  6. Place prepared apples over the “crust” in the prepared pan, pressing down gently as you pack them in.
  7. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top of the apples.
  8. Put the pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  9. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and let the cake cool in the pan to set.
  10. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and place on decorative plate to serve.
  11. Serve at room temperature.

I’ll be making this again on Monday night for my Dining For Women meeting.  I know the women will appreciate it.  I also think I will make this for Thanksgiving.  It’s so EASY, and delicious.  I hope  you try this recipe and like it as much as I do.  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today…, and stop by my Pinterest pages, too!!

17 Aug 2011 Overnight Blueberry French Toast

My elder daughter, Hannah, found blueberries on sale at Safeway this week: four pounds for five dollars! After she posted the “find” on her facebook page I had to go out and get some… But WHAT am I going to do with four pounds of blueberries?!? Hannah made a Fresh Blueberry Pie  (one of our family’s favorites),  and I decided to try this recipe for Blueberry French Toast since it’s been in  my “To Try” file for ages.

I fell in love with overnight casseroles a few years ago.  I probably have overnight guests more than most, so I have quite an array of breakfast recipes, but I’ve gotten lazy.  Although I am usually up earlier than my guests, I’d just rather not rush to pull a breakfast together. I like to get up, make myself a latte, and enjoy some peace and quiet with the newspaper and the Internet –while in my jammies– before facing a busy day ahead.  Overnight casseroles are one of my secret weapons to maintaining my slow-and-easy morning routines, yet still provide a nice breakfast for my guests.

This breakfast casserole is really more of a cross between a bread pudding and french toast.  It’s not very sweet,  so you can douse it with powdered sugar or maple syrup. But with only two eggs, it’s not very egg-y or french toast-y.   And in spite of all that cream cheese, it’s not very cream cheese-y, either!  It is nice though; warm, full of juicy blueberries with just a hint of cream cheese and a hint of egg.  A side of bacon or sausage could be a nice salty, crispy counterpoint.  I think it’s best with enjoyed with some newly awakened house guests, a second latte, and a fun chat about the plans for the day.

Blueberry French Toast

  • 1 lb. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon, but that seemed a bit too much for me)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 10 slices of good quality french bread, sliced about 3/4 inch thick, if possible
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Maple syrup or powdered sugar, to serve

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Slowly beat in the milk.

Cut the slices of french bread into cubes and spread evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cubed bread.

Pour the cheese-milk-egg mixture on top of the bread and the blueberries.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 40 minutes, or until golden brown (perhaps 5 minutes longer if casserole was still cold from the refrigerator when it went into the oven).

Serve with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  If you still have blueberries leftover, be sure to make some Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins , which are one of  my top three favorite muffin recipes. Ohhh, and I’ll have to post the recipe for a Blueberry-Lemon Pavlova, too…!

22 Jan 2011 Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I buy a lot of cookbooks and a lot of cooking magazines.  It’s a big problem.  One time I tried to cook my way through one cookbook (which is how this blog got started) so I would have to stop buying new cookbooks.  I probably made it through half the cookbook, but I kept buying magazines and “Special Interest Publications” anyway.  It’s a big, big problem…

Over time I’ve found that I usually make three recipes from each publication, sometimes more and sometimes less, and then make a judgment about the book.  Not all books pass the three recipe test, and this infuriates me.  WHY publish so-so recipes? Just in case someone might like it?  I want to yell at all cookbook authors, editors, and publishers, “Stop publishing and republishing so-so, mediocre and bad recipes!”   Just because you have a recipe with a cute name or a pretty picture doesn’t mean it has to be published!  Where’s the quality control? If a recipe is so-so, dump it and move onto the next one, or if it has potential, remake it until it’s fabulous.  Stop publishing so-so, mediocre and bad recipes!

I understand differences in tastes, I don’t make recipes I know I won’t like.   I have nothing against publishing hot and spicy recipes.  Many people like those, I’m just not going to try them.  I make recipes that sound good to me, and I expect the recipe to work and I want the recipe to taste good.  No, more than good.  I want the recipe to be fabulous, but I will settle for one step up from mediocre.  One step up from mediocre wouldn’t make me angry.  It would be an improvement! I received a huge cookbook for Christmas, which shall remain nameless.  I made three recipes.  Three bombs. Well, not bombs exactly. The recipes worked, but they weren’t as great as the descriptions made them out to be.  I had taste testers for all these recipes.  All said the food was “OK, but not great” and then started giving suggestions for improvements!  You’d think the author would have done this.  If the recipe is not GREAT, don’t publish it, even if there is a good story or a fabulous picture to go with it. The stories and the pictures are supposed to be backup for a good recipes, not to compensate for them.

I have taste testers for ALL my recipes.  I know I have pretty high standards, so I check my expectations with my friends, family, Dining For Women members, book club members, clay class classmates, quilt group friends, massage night friends, neighbors, workmen… If I don’t like something, I check to see what others think.  Most often they agree with me.  If my testers like something I don’t, I remake it and test it again on myself, and some more testers, to see what I missed.  If I rave about something, but my testers give it so-so marks, I don’t publish the recipe.  I only publish recipes I love, and recipes my taste testers love, too.

I understand differences in preferences. Not everyone likes a particular texture. Not everyone likes the same kind of brownie or spaghetti sauce, I know this. I know not everyone is going to like the same thing, but still, there are recipes published that are just NOT good.  This needs to stop.  It’s no wonder some people think they are horrible cooks.  Chances are they’ve made some attempts over the years, have tried some some fantastic sounding recipes, only to be defeated by them.  It’s not always the cook. There are just too many bad, so-so, and mediocre recipes published.  I want to tell self proclaimed bad cooks, “It’s probably not you, it’s probably the recipe”.  To be a GREAT cook, you have to have a GREAT recipe…, and there are few cookbooks out there you can trust to give you a great recipe on every page.

I’ve  found a “post worthy” recipe in the newest cookbook I bought, “All Cakes Considered” by Melissa Gray.  Melissa works at NPR, and every Monday for a year she brought a cake into the NPR office in New York. If she didn’t get good feedback, she “re-baked” the recipe until it worked! (A woman after my own heart!)  Her cookbook is the compilation of the best cakes from that one year experiment.  The first cake I baked from this book was “The Barefoot Contessa’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake” (the recipe was originally published in “Barefoot Contessa: Parties!“).  Winner, winner, winner! My son likes the two-day old leftovers so much he’s taking them back to his dorm with him, and texting his friends to expect it!

This weekend I am going to bake to more cakes from the book and then test them out on my Dining For Women group.  Stay tuned!  But until then, bake this!  It’s yummy.  Not too sweet. Classic coffee cake. Goes well with coffee.  Very well.  A nice Sunday breakfast or mid-morning snack.  Every one of my taste testers liked it. Liked it a lot. We need more recipes like this to be published and republished.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

For Cake

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For Streusel

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 325º.  Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan (or spray with Pam for Baking)
  2. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined.
  7. Make the streusel…combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter.  Mix until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in walnuts. Set aside.
  8. Spoon 1 cup of cake batter into bottom of prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle with half of the streusel mix.  Pour in half of remaining cake batter, top with remaining streusel, and then last half of cake batter.
  9. Bake cake in preheated 325 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
  10. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.  Let cake cool for at least 30 minutes, and as long as overnight.
  11. In a small bowl stir the maple syrup and powdered sugar together with a fork.
  12. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.
  13. Serve.  You’ll get about 16 slices of cake.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  My apologies for being a bit hot winded before I got to the recipe but I do feel strongly about NOT passing on bad, so-so, or mediocre recipes. I promise only to send you GREAT recipes! Make them! Then DEFINITELY tell me what you think!

13 Sep 2010 Veganized! Banana Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

This is a lovely, moist banana cake with a crunchy, cinnamon-y, chocolate chip-y topping. I reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe from 3/4 of a cup to 2/3 cup and eliminated the struesal layer in the center since the topping has both brown sugar and chocolate chips. It’s plenty sweet and I think it may have brought out the banana flavor of the cake a little more. I wasn’t happy with the egg substitution that I used the first time around so I went with the silken tofu in lieu of an egg. It really improved the texture and the crumb of the cake. This is an easy recipe and a great little cake for snacking or breakfast.

Thanks for the inspiration, Polly!

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Coffeecake

For topping:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

For coffeecake:

2/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy margarine, at room temperature (I like Earth Balance)
1/4 cup silken tofu
3 T soy milk + 1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3, large)
1 1/2 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with non-stick spray and mash the bananas in a small bowl. In another bowl stir together chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon and set aside. In your blender (or Magic Bullet) combine the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.  In the large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. I’ve used both a whisk and a mixer for this and either one worked fine. Add the silken tofu to the soy milk mixture in the blender and whirl ’til creamy. Stir the mashed banana and tofu/soy milk mixture into the creamed margarine and sugar. Mix ’til everything is nice and gloppy and then add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan and top with the chocolate chip/nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine was done after 35 minutes).

30 Aug 2010 Peach Crumble Bars

Peaches are really good this year, which is good news after a few disappointing crops the last few years.  I’ve enjoyed some delicious, chin dripping peaches this summer.  Topping that, I’ve also had success with two new recipes using fresh peaches.  Here’s the first.  Move over brownies.  Move over lemon bars.  There’s a new kid in town: Peach Crumble Bars.  I like this recipe becasue the peach layer is composed of fresh peaches, not canned, not peach jam, real fresh peaches!  The crumbly cakey layer is light and buttery (whoa…light and buttery?  LOL…yes!).  Next time I would like to add some vanilla into the crumb layer; I don’t think vanilla extract will work, so it would have to be vanilla bean or vanilla paste.  Even without the vanilla, this recipe is a winner, juicy, chin dripping, peaches, with cake, in an easy-to handle bar.  What could be better? According the websites I consulted, this recipe can also be made with blueberries and raspberries, so it’s a versatile recipe, too!

I found this recipe at Annies-Eats and she found the basic crumb bar recipe at Smitten Kitchen.  Both sites have better pictures than I do…  One of these days I need to either find a photographer or take a food photography class.  I think I had better start looking for a friend who wants to photograph food–payment being the food that’s being photographed!

Peach Crumble Bars

1½ cups sugar, divided use
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
Zest of half a lemon
16 tbsp. (2 sticks….ouch) cold, butter cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 cups peeled, chopped peaches (about 5 peaches)
5 tsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (I used about 1/4 of a whole nutmeg)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Grease a 9 x 13? pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and flour.  Mix in the salt and the lemon zest, and stir together with a fork. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized.  (I grate the butter, with a cheese grater.  Roll the butter in the flour mixture, grate, roll butter in flour mixture again if butter gets too soft to grate easily).  Combine well.  Stir in beaten egg. The resulting mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.  Spread a bit more than half of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust.

In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and nutmeg. Gently mix in the peaches with a rubber spatula until combined.  Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust.  Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the peaches.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving. Eat within 48 hours, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I love your visits!

05 Jul 2010 Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks and Orange Zest

Bon Appetit is my favorite food magazine. Every month there is one spectacular recipe after another. This month’s issue was no exception. For some reason, this cake was classified as a coffeecake. Very odd. This is a recipe for a very nice dessert cake. It’s not a big gooey layer cake with a lot of frosting. It’s a one layer cake rich with coconut, bittersweet chocolate chunks, the grated peel of a whole orange, and a coconut drizzle. (If you have the magazine, see pages 84, 85, and 91.) Love it! My five testers all gave it a thumbs up, too. There’s no doubt that I will be making this again.

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks and Orange Zest

For Cake
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel (peel from one orange)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or coconut extract)
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use bars and break into 1/2-inch irregular pieces), divided use
extra 1/2 cup shredded coconut for topping

For Coconut Drizzle:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons (or more) canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Stir in shredded coconut and set aside. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and orange peel in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla or coconut extract. Add 1/3 flour mixture, beat until blended, then ½ coconut milk, then 1/3 flour, then ½ coconut milk, then last 1/3 flour mixture, beating just until blended after each addition. To make the chocolate chunks, leave the chocolate in wrappers and bang with a meat mallet. Fold 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate pieces (one entire bar) into batter. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate pieces (1/2 bar) over batter, then sprinkle with an additional ½ cup coconut. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, tenting with sheet of foil if coconut atop cake is browning too quickly, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool in pan 45 minutes.

Coconut Drizzle
Whisk powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons coconut milk, and coconut extract in small bowl to blend well, adding more coconut milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over cake. Remove cake from pan and drizzle with glaze. Do not over drizzle. Cool cake completely on platter. Cake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover cake and let stand at room temperature.

Thanks for being a fan,