Sunday, October 17, 2010

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Photo by Uncle Worm
There are only a handful of treats Becky and I make over and over again: Oatmeal lemon creme bars, Friend E's chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal carmelitas, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (post coming soon!). These are the recipes we can make in our sleep, and that disappear immediately when we put them out for others.

This Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is another of those recipes because it's easy to put together and even easier to gobble up. The first time I made this recipe was for me, Beck, and the Music Man on a lazy Saturday morning. The three of us devoured it all in about an hour.

The second time I made this coffee cake was on a girls' weekend with our best friends from college. The six of us gals finished off the whole thing in less than an hour.

The third time I made this coffee cake was just this past Friday while at home for a family reunion. Our twelve or so aunts, uncles, and cousins inhaled it in what seemed like minutes.

Are you starting to see a pattern?

At this point, Becky and I decided this recipe was too good to keep to ourselves; we had to put it here on the blog. So, we made the cake for a fourth time, a mere 24 hours after its previous appearance. We got the cake in the oven and then I ran out on an errand, leaving Beck with strict instructions to not let anyone dig in until she got some photos.

I couldn't have been gone much more than a hour, but when I came back, there was only one teeny tiny piece left for me. It's like magic, really, how fast this coffee cake disappears.

Besides the fact that it's an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, I love this coffee cake because it's adaptable. Don't have raspberry jam? Use strawberry. Use blueberry. Use lemon curd. Have some fresh fruit on hand? Throw that in, too.

This cake is also free form, which I love, because it's pretty darn hard to mess up the presentation when you're not aiming for a specific shape or size. And even if the finished cake isn't pretty, it tastes so good that nobody seems to care if it's ugly - they'll gobble it up no matter what.

Photo by Uncle Worm

But, to quote good old LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it:

"Yummm!!!" – Cousin Rick (that's three m's AND three !'s)

"The first one was perfect. The second one was even better." – Cousin Gae

"I didn’t have any because it was GONE!" – DaddyBob

"I got goosebumps (really!) during the first bite." – Uncle Worm

"I couldn't wait for you to make it the second day!" - Cousin Don

"Are you moving back here?" - Mama B

"Affentitten geil!" which translates literally to "Ape-[bleep] good!", or figuratively to "As good as it can get!" - Aunt Daggi from Germany

Guten appetit!

- Katie

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces and chilled
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces raspberry jam
Note: To use a baking mix such as Bisquick, replace first five ingredients with 2 cups baking mix, adding a tablespoon of sugar.
*we've also used baking soda in a pinch

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with flour.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt (or 2 cups baking mix plus 1 tbsp sugar) in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until dough resembles course crumbs.

3. Add milk and stir until evenly moistened. Dough will be quite sticky.

4. Place dough on floured cookie sheet. Sprinkle generously with flour and pat or roll into a rectangle approximately 16" x 6".

5. Spread cream cheese down the center, then top with jam.

6. Using a sharp knife, make cuts from center of dough (where cream cheese and jam are) outward, about an inch and a half apart, all along both long sides of the dough.

7. Fold strips of dough up over the top of the jam. Pinch ends to seal.

8. Brush extra flour off parchment. Bake for 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes.

9. While coffee cake cools, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and one teaspoon milk. Continue to add milk until glaze reaches drizzling consistency.

10. Drizzle glaze over coffee cake in criss cross pattern. Slice cake along center of filling, then crosswise to cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

11. Store leftover coffee cake in the fridge (if there are any leftovers, which there won't be!)

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