There is so much to love about spring in the mountains. The early morning sun kisses our deck at about 9:00 AM and warms the geraniums in their window boxes so that they reach out eagerly for nurishment and light. Later in the summer they may droop and fade, but in the spring they bring smiles to the faces of all who view them. Someone in a passing boat yelled to me that my deck looked pretty. I yelled back that I was happy to be here and happy with the wonderful weather that allowed my to plant flowers in my window boxes so early. The spring awakening is such a universal renewal of hope and promise that you can’t help but feel energetic and enthused about the future.
We had family visiting. The night before I suggested sausage and pancakes for breakfast, but cousin Chuck said they were not big breakfast eaters. I awoke early on the next morning and decided a simple coffeecake and fruit would be just the thing for breakfast. I flipped through my recipe notebook and found a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for a quick cinnamon streusel coffeecake that sounded good and I had all of the ingredients. It took me no time to assemble it and we were very pleased with the results. The only thing I changed was to make half of the cake recipe in an 8×11 inch casserole and all of the streusel topping. I cooked it for just 30 minutes and the cake was just right.
QUICK CINNAMON STREUSEL COFFEECAKE ( Cook’s Illustrated )
To make the coffeecake even faster to prepare in the morning, prepare the streusel and measure out the dry ingredients for the cake the night before.
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cnnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup pecans, almonds, or walnuts, chopped coarse
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk or whole plain yogurt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. For the streusel: Mix sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter together in medium bowl until mixture resembles wet sand; stir in nuts and set aside.
2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, sugars, eggs, and melted butter in separate bowl until smooth. Using rubber spatula, gently fold egg mixture into flour mixture and stir until batter looks smooth and well combined.
4. Using rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle streusel evely over batter. Bake until streusel is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool cake on wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.