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Friday, September 16, 2011

Buttermilk Coffeecake

This recipe is for a friend of mine. 

 I like to call her Superwoman.  My husband and kids do not disagree that "Superwoman" aptly describes her.  There's nothing she can't do!  Fact: she is always totally prepared for whatever comes her way! 

 I know this is a fact because when our kids were younger, we were all out together and the grubby hands of one of the little darlings left a stain of some sort on my white pants.  She quickly whipped a package of Shout Wipes out of her bag of tricks and promptly blotted the stain away.  I've yet to see her unprepared for any circumstance that happens to come her way.

We met 16 years ago when our daughters were in the same preschool class.  And then they played T-Ball together.  And were in Kindergarten together.  And first grade.  And softball.  And basketball.  And soccer.  And dance class.  With a few street hockey games thrown in for fun.  I think that's it.  Did I forget anything?  If I did, Superwoman will remember it for me. 

We quickly evolved from thinking of each other as "my daughter's friend's mother" to "my friend."  (And then she evolved into Superwoman.  But I digress.)  We get together to go to the movies, go to lunch, go to dinner with our husbands, have nifty little backyard soirees/Christmas parties/pick-up ball games with our families.

We were talking last week, and she told me that she was looking through my blog for recipes for tailgating (she has season tickets to her Alma mater's football games).  She made Sweet 'N Salties for the last one and they were devoured.  As an afterthought she added, "It's hard to come up with ideas when you're feeding about twenty-five people."

Of course.  Only Superwoman could prepare enough food, carefully pack it up and feed twenty-five people out of the trunk of a car.  Superwoman's tailgating parties must be legendary.  I imagine that for some of the revelers, it could be more of an event than the actual game (which is division I by the way, not Small-time University vs. Unheard-of School).

She was lamenting that she was having trouble thinking of breakfast items that traveled well (when there's an early game, there should be some breakfast items on the menu for the college kids that just rolled out of bed).

This yummy Buttermilk Coffeecake is just what Superwoman ordered.

Today's Playlist
  • "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid"....The Offspring
  • "Time Is Running Out".....Muse
  • "Dani California"....Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "I'm Not Over"........Carolina Liar
  • "Take Take Take".....The White Stripes
  • "Get Free"......The Vines
  • "Steady, As She Goes"......The Raconteurs
  • "Warning".......Green Day
  • "Believe"....The Bravery
  • "Your Surrender"........Neon Trees

Buttermilk Coffeecake

Topping Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place one stick of butter into a mixer bowl to soften (you can do this as far ahead of time as you like).

Gather your ingredients.

Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan or dish.  Or you can use an 8 x 8-inch pan (you will have to allow a bit more cooking time if you use an 8 x 8-inch pan).

I take about 1/2 tablespoon of butter and smear it all over the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish.

Then I take about 1/2 teaspoon of flour, dump it into the bottom of the dish and shake the dish from side to side or tap the sides of the dish with the heel of my palm.  As the flour moves around, it will stick to the butter.
Like this.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine your topping ingredients.  Flour and sugar.......

...brown sugar....


....and melted butter.
You may have noticed that I did not have cake flour in my picture of ingredients.  I have decided that there are too many different types of flour that take up too much room in my pantry.  You can make your own cake flour by starting with 2 tablespoons of corn starch and adding enough all-purpose flour to make 1 cup.  First, I put the corn starch into a measuring cup (shown above), and then add enough flour to fill the cup.  For a half-cup, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and then add enough flour to make a half cup.

Why cake flour?  Because it is lower in protein and more heavily milled than all-purpose flour, which makes it very fine and thus will more easily absorb and distribute the butter throughout the batter.  How is it that corn starch and all-purpose flour accomplish the same feat?  Good question.  I don't know. 

Mix up your topping ingredients with a fork and then set aside.

For the coffeecake:  Beat the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed, until fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  I know you should probably combine it better than I have (I just put the baking soda and salt on top of the flour), but I'm feeling lazy.  This is a one cup measuring cup, and like we've already discussed, I don't have cake flour so there is two tablespoons of corn starch in the bottom of the 1-cup measuring cup.  I also measured out 1 tablespoon of corn starch in the bottom of 1/2-cup measuring cup, and filled the remainder of the 1/2 cup with flour.

Alternating, add the flour mixture....


.....and the rest of the flour, to the mixing bowl, beating at low speed after each addition until combined.

Spoon the batter into the greased and floured pan/dish..........

....and spread it evenly.

Dump the topping mixture on top........

...and spread evenly.  There is a LOT of topping.  That's the best part, why skimp?  Light, fluffy cake topped with crunchy, cinnamony topping.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  The butter will melt and pull all the crumbs together as it bakes.

See?  It's still sort of crumbly, but also crusty and crunchy.  You can allow it to cool before you eat it.....

....or you can eat it while it's still warm.  Enjoy!

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