Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yeasted Coffee Cake - Cake Odyssey Bonus Recipe

Owen and I attend a playgroup at our church once a week. It runs through the Winter months in order to give local Moms and their younger children an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize (for the Moms!) and to burn off some pent up energy (for the kids!). I don't know about you, but I never have any pent up energy. My energy levels are rarely in the "pent-up", excessive stage. Rather, I am usually running on an energy deficit. But, that has nothing to do with the play group or the recipe I want to share with you. And yet again, as I am prone to do...

digress, digress, digress.

I recently made this recipe one morning and brought it to share with the Moms at the playgroup.  The addition of nuts nearly guaranteed that none of the children there would be interested in wanting any, locking in the chance that there would be enough to go around amongst the adults. 

Devious.  I know. 

Hey!  They get their fish crackers, we get our coffee cake.  I'd say that's pretty fair!

"World's Quickest Yeasted Coffee Cake" comes from one of my favorite new cookbooks.  Cake Keeper Cakes is written by Lauren Chattman and I like her mission of having cake on her kitchen counter everyday for an entire year.  My hips and thighs would never survive such a mission, but I still like the way she thinks!

World's Quickest Yeasted Coffee Cake
Here's What You Need:
3/4 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons butter
2 envelopes (1 1/2 Tablespoons) instant yeast
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Here's What You Do:
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.  Dust it with a little flour and set aside.

Warm the milk and 2 Tablespoons of butter until the butter is melted and milk is very warm to the touch.  You can do this in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Just be sure you're not doing this while helping your daughter watch for the school but or else you might end up scorching the milk and have to start all over again.  I'm not suggesting that this happened to me.  I'm just sayin'.  Hypothetically.  It could happen to anyone.  Anyone that pushes the multi-tasking envelope a little too far sometimes.  Digress, digress, digress.

Once your melted butter/milk combo is heated, pour it into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast.  Keep whisking until the yeast is dissolved.  Stir in the flour and the salt and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed.  The dough will be sticky.

Press the dough into the bottom of the baking pan.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.  We keep a small container of this heavenly concoction in the cupboard for making slices of cinnamon toast.  Mmmmm!

Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.  Combine the corn syrup, brown sugar and melted butter.  Spread this ooey-gooey goodness over the dough.  Sprinkle with the pecans.  Here's the important place this in a COLD OVEN.  After you put the baking pan in the COLD OVEN, turn the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake the cake until it's golden and set in the center.  This should take about 25-30 minutes.  Let the cake cool a bit, but be sure to serve it warm.  Mine came out of the oven a little sooner than I would have liked and it wasn't as warm as I had hoped by the time I served it to my Mom friends.  I guess I'll just have to make it again sometime soon and time it out a little better.

A bit of a disclaimer on this recipe.  I have seen a very similar recipe of this nature on a package of Fleischmann's brand yeast and Lauren acknowledges this fact in her cookbook.  Make this for a weekend breakfast or put the kids on the bus, throw it together and invite your neighbor over for a mid-morning snack!

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