Russian Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Yesterday it was my turn to bring breakfast for our weekly work Breakfast Club. Taking a more traditional approach than I did last time, when I brought in my quesadilla maker (Olé), I volunteered to bring in two coffee cakes.  One had to be Sicilian Orange Cake, because it just might be the king of all coffee cakes. But I wanted to try something new for my second offering, so I made this Russian recipe. Its sour cream base makes it creamy and moist, and the nut topping gives a little bit of texture and spice. And if the “king” title is already taken, this one can be the coffee cake Tsar.

*Wondering where the photo of the finished product is? Well, in the chaos of my cake-laden commute that morning, I forgot to give it its proper photo shoot. I guess that means I’ll just have to make it again!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup, divided
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
pinch of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter,  sour cream, 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three batches, stirring well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the walnuts, ginger, nutmeg, and the 1/2 cup of sugar.

Grease a baking pan. Spread half the batter into the pan and top with half the nut mixture. Then spread the rest of the batter over the top and add the rest of the nut mixture. Using a knife, make several slashes through the batter; this draws some of the nut mixture deeper into the cake.

Bake on middle rack for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Priyatnogo appetita!

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Dutch Baby Pancake.

If you’ve ever been to the Walker Brothers Pancake House in Wilmette, you’ve seen one of these huge pancakes being delivered to a table near you. Maybe you’ve even tried this light and fluffy mass of puffed-up flour, butter, and eggs yourself. It’s the perfect thing to cook for company because it looks so impressive and unusual. But as you serve it to a chorus of compliments, smile silently to yourself, you big show-off, because it’s actually a ridiculously easy recipe.

INGREDIENTS

for pancake:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
cinnamon to taste (we used about 1/8 tsp)
4 eggs
4 tbsp (half a stick) butter

for topping:
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 cup yogurt
your favorite berries
powdered sugar
lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Remove your oven’s top rack and preheat oven to 425 F–the pancake cooks on the middle rack and needs space to rise.

With the stove on medium heat, melt butter in a large cast-iron pan or oven-proof saute pan. While the butter melts, combine all other pancake ingredients in a mixing bowl.

When the oven is fully preheated, pour batter into pan over melted butter, but don’t stir the butter into the batter! They should remain separate.

Immediately place pan into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, so that the whole pancake cooks through. The middle and sides will start to brown a bit by the time the pancake is done. Remove from oven and cool about 1 minute.

While the pancake cools, mix together yogurt and honey, and wash and cut up berries.

Transfer pancake to a large plate. Top with yogurt, sprinkle with berries and lemon juice, and add a generous finishing touch of powdered sugar. Serves 2-3 (or a very hungry 1…).

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

Yesterday I noticed that we had 2 apples that were about to go bad. I hate wasting perfectly good fruit, so I did some recipe-hunting and found some inspiration for an apple cake. After a few tweaks and additions, I came up with this super tasty coffee cake, with just the right sweetness and spice. A perfect accompaniment to my morning pot of Barry’s Irish Breakfast Tea (the best black tea on earth). Coffee cake is pure joy!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake | KellyintheKitchen | 2 apples, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 6 tbsp butter, heaping 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tbsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, pinch of ground ginger

INGREDIENTS

2 apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
heaping 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups flour (I’ve used half wheat, half all-purpose, and I’ve used just all-purpose. Both are good)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Toss sliced apples in cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Sift in half the flour and stir to combine. Then stir in the milk. Finally, add the rest of the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Stir until just combined.

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Grease a spring-form pan or other cake pan. Spread about half the batter on the bottom of the pan, and cover with apples. Then spread the remaining batter over the apples.

Combine almonds, cinnamon, and ginger, and sprinkle evenly over the cake. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. I don’t blame you if you dig right in, but cooling it slightly means it will cut a little cleaner. Yum!

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