Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick, Crunchy Coffee Cake

Pic courtesy of A Mingling of Tastes

I don't know where this recipe came from, though I want to say it was from our backyard neighbors (the O'Briens). I just remember having it quite often growing up. Coffee cake is seriously one of my favorite breakfast foods and this recipe, if done right, is so light and fluffy, without being overwhelmingly sweet (Because who wants to be on sugar overload at breakfast?). Don't get me wrong, it is very sweet, it's just not slathered in sugar and butter. Now, like I said, I've made this many times but the last time I made it it absolutely blew my socks off (and Christian's) and let me tell you what the secret is: a pastry cutter. They cost maybe $3 at Wal-Mart (yes, that's where I got mine).

Quick, Crunchy Coffee Cake
from Becky Jewkes

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, slightly colder than room temp.
2/3 c milk
1 egg

4 Tbl flour
6 Tbl granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl butter, softened to room temp.

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a loaf pan, 8x8 pan, or bundt pan (my fave) with non-stick spray. For the cake, sift dry ingredients together into a medium mixing bowl. Cut slightly chilled butter into dry ingredients. Don't be a perfectionist here. Your dough should be like pearl-sized chunks. The butter will fluff up and make the lightest cake. If you mix it too much, it will be flat and dense. Mix milk and egg together. Make a small well in the middle of butter mixture and pour egg and milk in. Mix just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan. Combine first 3 ingred. of topping mixture in small bowl. Cut in the butter until it forms a crumb topping. With a spoon, distribute evenly over the cake batter (there will be plenty to form a good crumb layer). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out relatively clean (some crumbs will come up).

*The original recipe said to heat the oven to 375 but I've found that's a little too hot. So, I usually preheat the oven to 375, then decrease the temp. to 350 when I put the cake in. Watch carefully because baking times can vary.


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