Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Merry Christmas!  So Christmas morning is one of my favorite moments ever, one that I cherish every year.  After sleeping in, Paul makes a fire while I start baking.  We sip mimosas as Pandora’s Pink Martini station plays (It’s a rad station if you’ve not added it to your list!  And yes, I just rocked the word “rad”, that’s how I roll.).  The lights on the tree shine, softly illuminating the ornaments.  And it’s just warm and cozy and lovely.

This morning I wanted to make something that would fill the house with a cinnamony smell and balance the wonderful saltiness of bacon.  I found a very easy recipe that fit the requirements.  Paul’s review was, “Oh man, this is tasty!  One of the best yet!”

The only thing that I must note is that Ms. Ina Garten (whom I adore) set me up for failure.  After sharing a simple recipe she adds nonchalantly, “Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.” Um, really?  Easier said than done!  You’ll see what I mean when you try to make this using a tube pan.  It took two people, two spatulas, and many prayers to transfer it from the pan to the plate.  Success!

Other wise, it’s delicious and I say go for it!  Merry Christmas!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake (care of Ina Garten)

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS:  12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature, 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 1/4 cups sour cream,    2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:  1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze: 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons real maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.  For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.  Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake 2


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