Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Must-Have


I don't remember where it came from, the little tin tucked away on a top shelf that contains the past 10 years in recipes.  I know I didn't buy it, it simply appeared.  My first memory of tucking a scrawled recipe into the tin ocurred in my old apartment - the two bedroom.  In that bright kitchen with the sunshine streaming in, I copied the first few years worth of my  recipes onto 3x5's that had previously resided on scraps of paper tucked between the pages of my well loved Betty Crocker cookbook.  In chocolate smeared disorganization, all my "Must Have's" are all still there.

The best chocolate cake in the world - gleaned from the wisdom of my cousin Mariah.

Mom's chili - and meatloaf, and cheese sauce, and many more besides.

A truly excellent banana bread.

Perfect pancakes

The basic Artisan bread recipes.

The "
Jentzen brownies" my sisters and I baked in highschool to lure cute boys over for a visit.

Basic brunch recipes, subject to endless customization.

Many are committed to memory, although I may pull them out to double check an amount (was that 2 cups of flour or 2 1/2?).  Some are rarely used, but always a hit.

Last weekend, as my older brother was visiting, we had a family brunch.  I was given the task of coming up with a coffee cake - one I was glad to take on as baking is my very favorite type of cooking!

I looked around a bit as some fancier recipes, but kept returning to this one from  that dog-eared copy of  Betty Crocker's cookbook of mine.  It's basic, customizable, and absolutely delicious.

So maybe jot this one down on a 3x5 and stick it in your own little recipe tin of must-haves.  I did.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

3 C all purpose or wheat flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1 1/2 t baking soda

3/4 t salt

1 1/2 C sugar

3/4 C butter

1 1/2 t vanilla

3 large eggs

1 1/2 C sour cream

Brown Sugar Filling

1/2 C brown sugar

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 C chopped nuts (optional, I left them out)

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan.  I use a 9x13, but an bundt pan would be nice too!

2. Make brown sugar filling, set aside.  Mix flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.

3. Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes.  Mix about 1/4th of the flour mixture and sour cream at a time alternately into sugar mixture on low speed until blended.

4.  For 9x13 pan, spread half the batter into the 9x13, then sprinkle with half the brown sugar filling.  Spread the remaining half over that and sprinkle the top with the remaining filling.  For a bundt pan, spread one third the batter, then one third the filling and repeat twice.

5.  Bake bundt about 1 hour, 9x13 for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and allow to cool 20 minutes.

There is a glaze that accompanies this recipe to drizzle over top.  I've never made it, but perhaps you might want to?  Here it is:

Vanilla Glaze

1/2 C powdered sugar

1/4 t vanilla

2 to 3 tsp milk

Mix all ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.


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