28 October 2010

Sometimes I get a little excited.

Okay, my husband would probably disagree with that post title and revise it to "Most of the time I am really super excited and the rest of the time I am really super despairing because all of the time I am really super dramatic and ahhh look!!! What is that beautiful shiny thing???"

And as usual, he would be right. There are days when I can pull off the refined and dignified schtick, but that usually disappears faster than banana bread cooling on the counter.


What's more, my excitement usually stems from small things. It doesn't take much, people. Puffy down vests. Sales on KAF flour. Funky mushrooms sprouting in the yard. Neatly folded towels. A student who remembers to email me ahead of time when he will need an extension. Yellow leaves down the driveway. Seeing the sunrise. Wireless printers. A new Jars of Clay album. Pilates on the living room floor. Finding produce bags at Target. Making good omelets for once. Mums in giant pots. When my yogurt sets and my mayonnaise gets creamy and my biscuits rise.

And yes, those last three delight me every single time. Why are you looking at me like that?

Here I present the latest in the continuous parade of Stuff That Makes Rebekah All Happy. Coffee cake has to do with breakfast, which as you know, only doubles its appeal. :) The interior is moist, crust crunchy, filling luscious. Bonus points: looks fancy, but isn't.

So . . . it is a great cake and you should make it this weekend. The end.

Completely Delicious Yet Suspiciously Healthy Coffee Cake
(Original from King Arthur, but I've taken considerable liberties. Also, I am not a sponsored affiliate of KAF though I may as well be for all the mention and praise I give them.)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raw or light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed (or not)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup softened butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup whole milk yogurt or sour cream

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter, spray, or otherwise de-stickify a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan. You could use a large tube pan if you'd rather; I like the pretty pattern of a bundt. (I really need to use mine more often. I tend to forget about it.) And all else failing, use a 9x13.
2) Stir together walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside. Stir together flours, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl and set that aside too.
3) Beat butter, oil, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with yogurt and beating after each addition. Don't overdo it though.
4) Pour half of this gloriously moist and vanilla'd batter (um, not that I taste while cooking) into your well-greased bundt pan. Sprinkle the filling on top and add the rest of the batter.
5) Bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife very gently along the sides and flip it out onto a wire rack.

It's a pretty little thing, with that golden crust and crunchy ribbon of sugared filling (of which my husband says: "This is my favorite part. Could it be . . . bigger?"). Serve with scrambled eggs and fresh fruit for a wonderful weekend breakfast.

Or you could just eat some cake. All by itself. Nobody's stopping you.

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