Raspberry Coffee Cake



Admittedly, that is a pretty sad picture of the what was a very gooey coffee cake. I’ll admit it, I forgot to take a picture of it completed until there was only one piece left and I insisted Brett eat it off of this plate to make it fancier.

Whoa. Sorry. I got a little ahead of myself there. You’ve probably been wondering where the heck I have been! (That is, if you’re even still there!) This past 2 months has been much crazier than I would typically prefer. A brief run down: We moved the weekend of May 1st. I think you know this already. But moving is much more than just the weekend you move. It’s all the unpacking and figuring out that goes on after that takes just as much energy! The following weekend was Mother’s Day! I hosted a brunch (which is why I made this coffee cake)… not the most succesful hosting of my life, but the mom-of-honor was happy and that’s all that really mattered. The weekend after that? 16 hours in a class about how to conquer the LSAT. I don’t recommend this to anyone. It is terrible for your sanity. I think it literally took me 2 weeks to fully regain 100% brain function. Then a friend came in town. Then Brett’s family came in town. Then the LSAT happened (IT’S OVER THANK GOODNESS). And then I had my first real weekend in months. And now we’re here!

Which means no more excuses! I’ve been catching up on my blog reading which has inspired me to come back to you. And of course the fact that I love you!

Berries mingling.

Look at those raspberries, mingling with sugar and cornstarch.

I could have eaten this whole thing raw. Oh. And let it be known. I’ve decided I don’t trust a person who doesn’t like raw dough. Mmmm it’s good to be back.

Here’s the recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup  flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8 in square dish.

Prepare your filling: Toss the raspberries with sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Set aside.

Make crumbs: Whisk together sugar, spices, and salt into melted butter until smooth. (Fully dissolve the sugar!) Add flour with a spatula. It will look and feel like solid dough. Leave it pressed together at the bottom of your bowl.

Make cake: Stir together sour cream, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Now using a mixer, add butter and a spoonful of the sour cream mixture a mix until flour is moistened. Increase your mixer speed and beat for about 30 seconds, then add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches.

Scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the raspberries over the batter. Dollop the rest of the batter on top of the berries (see above picture).

Now use your fingers to break up the crumbs into about 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle over cake (I had leftover crumbs…) Bake 45-55 minutes. Cool completely before serving (this is an important step. I made mine the night before and decided to pop it back in the oven to warm it up. I think I let it sit in there a little too long which resulted in goooooey coffee cake that needed a fork to eat. Although still delicious!)



Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Frosting

Feliz cinco de mayo a todos!!

OK. this post has nothing to do with cinco de mayo. But I do love this holiday. Despite the fact the US is really the only country who cares about it…. but Americans do love any excuse to eat Mexican food and drink Tecate and Margaritas! Can you blame us?!

I have been away far too long again. I promise I won’t make a habit of it. We moved last weekend to the most magical cottage I have ever lived in. It is tucked on a mountain where quails walk by my kitchen window and wild turkeys hang out across the street. And my kitchen! It’s about 23098 times better than my last kitchen. I will be sure to give you a full tour of it when it’s all settled and decorated. In the meantime, this post is a sneak peek.

I love peanut butter (Mom used to have to hide the jar from me in high school because I would eat too much. hehe). You will probably end up seeing a lot of posts involving this ingredient. Not only because I love it, but because Brett loves it.  He is the consumer of all my baked goods (along with his willing coworkers). And recently he has become the resident dishwasher! I am thrilled about this new title.  🙂

Ok there will be more about him later. Now for the reason you’re here:

Dark brown sugar and butter. What’s not to like? (note, this is on a gas burner. did I mention I love my new kitchen??)

It was really hard for me not to eat more than one spoonful of this. My Mama would be proud. (speaking of spoonfuls, look at my spoonrest in the background! She’s new and I love her.)

This was my first time making chocolate frosting. It came out delicious! And so easy!

Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker

10 tbs butter cut into 5 cubes

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup smooth (natural) peanut butter*

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter and sugar. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Add peanut butter to butter and sugar mixture and mix well. Let cool a little while longer. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla (make sure mixture is cool so the eggs don’t cook! yuck!).

Now add your dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture all at once and stir til combined. This dough is much thicker than I was expected. Almost like a cookie dough. “Pour” the batter into your 9×13 evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting!

Milk Chocolate Frosting:

6 tbs butter, softened

3 tbs unsweetinged cocoa powder

1/5-2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbs milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

Using a mixer, beat together butter and cocoa powder. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbs milk.  Mix for a bit. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbs milk. Mix more. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Add chocolate and mix well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar to reach your desired thickness (I used the full 1/2 cup).

After peanutbutter bars have cooled, spread frosting. Devour immediately. And/Or, upon Brett’s insistence I put them in the fridge overnight so that today they were a little crunchier. Personally, I think they’re delicious either way.

*Now, I typically swear by using only “fake” peanut butter when baking (there’s something to be said about high fructose corn syrup in peanut butter). But I only had natural. And it worked out great! In fact, I think the “fake” peanut butter might have been too sweet with the dark brown sugar.