Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Basic and delicious

Classic Crumb Cake
Good Housekeeping Baking Copyright 1999

Crumb Topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup butter or margarine, softened I used butter

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened I used butter
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Prepare Crumb Topping: In medium bowl, mix flour, granulated and brown sugars, and cinnamon until well blended. With fingertips, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans; dust with flour. I used 9-inch square pans so my cakes were not as high as they should have been. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat granulated sugar and butter until blended, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium, beat about 2 minutes, until well mixed, scraping bowl occasionally. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In cup, combine milk and vanilla. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping bowl occasionally, until batter is smooth.
5. Pour batter into prepared pans. With hand, press crumb topping into large chunks; sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted into centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan on wire racks 15 minutes. With small metal spatula, loosen cakes from side of pans. Invert each cake onto plate; remove pan. Immediately invert cakes onto wire racks to cook completely, with crumb topping up. I just cooled them in the pans, then cut them into squares and easily removed them from the pan.

Makes 2 coffee cakes, 10 servings each. Per serving: 330 cal, 4 g pro, 45 g carbs, 16g fat, .5g fiber, 70mg chol, 270mg sodium

Crumb cake, when done well, is one of my favorite foods. It's just the basics - butter, flour, sugars, vanilla, eggs, milk, cinnamon and bit of leavening - but boy does it taste like something special. This wasn't my dream crumb cake but only due to the amount of crumb, which believe me was plenty, but my dream crumb cake would have more. The crumb on my dream crumb cake would be excessive. This wasn't excessive, it was just enough, probably more than enough for most people. The flavor was great and the cake had a nice moist texture.

One of my strongest food memories, one of my favorite things I've ever eaten, was the crumb cake that I bought at the Superfresh grocery store when I lived in Philly. It was from their bakery section and I didn't see it very often (thank God - I'd have left Philly big as a house). There was more crumb than cake and it was soooooooooooooo good. I miss that crumb cake more than any cheese steak.

OMG! I just looked at the Superfresh site and they have a store in my general area. I had no idea they had a store anywhere in this area of the state. It's a bit out of the way but if I thought they might have this crumb cake there I would be there in a heartbeat. However, it's been over a decade and store bakeries change their offerings. Many things that used to be baked in-house are now shipped in. I think this is one of those things that will only live on in my memory. If you live near a Superfresh, please let me know if you ever see crumb cake in their bakery section. I want a detailed description of it LOL!

This is one of those foods that I've wanted to make for a long time yet avoided for some reason I can't quite pinpoint. It might be because crumb cake can be a dangerous food for me.

Question of the Day: Is there a food from your past that you miss? Tell me about it.


HotHeaded said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HotHeaded said...

My mom use to make this yummy salad dressing for taco salad. But she lost the recipe. I tried to recreate it but it just isn't the exact same.

That crumb cake looks and sounds good. I think I am going to make some soon. But I have a request for chocolate chip cookies I have to make first.

Unknown said...

This looks pretty delicious you can surprise your family and friends with this. Thanks for those suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Some of the things that I think of:
My Grandmother's dumplings.
My Mother's Mexican rice.
The barbecued chicken at the church fund-raisers when I was a kid. Also the giblet rice there.

I'm sure there are many more that don't come to mind right now.


Arties32 said...

Yes! In the 1970s my mother used to make an appetizer and she called them "hot diggity dogs". She has since lost the recipe. She said she put the dough in a blender with ketchup and mustard and then also separately blended those lil smokies in a blender with something and then ?? I don't know but it was a combo of the cooked dough and the hot dog flavor that was so great. The crumb cake looks delish, I will have to try it!!

LeeJaye21 said...

Big John's beans. Two cans attached to each other, the large one containing regular pork & bean style pintos and the smaller one on top with the incredible sauce. Stir together and the result was magic, tangy and sweet, absolutely delicious. They have since been discontinued.
Also a freakish sort of thing, a childhood favorite of candy lipstick. These were very deep magenta in color, wrapped 3/4 in silver cellophane and then entirely wrapped in clear cellophane twisted at the ends. You could just see the tip of the candy peeking out from the silver stuff. There were trucks that used to come around with little kiddie rides attached to them, and we got these when we finished riding.
Haven't seen them since.

Anonymous said...

My Mother made a Carrot pie when I was a young girl,She mashed the carrots with a masher,they were still little pieces in the pie,and spices,and cream ,I believe and eggs,and then she bakes it in a crust ,and it had a slightly Ice cream taste ,if that's possible ,Probably the cream and eggs.It was deliciousAnd i never got the recipe before she passed away.
I regret it to this day.