Saturday, January 09, 2010

What to bake when it's seven freaking degrees outside.

You have two choices: biscuits or coffeecake. Either one is tasty and both will keep the oven on for a while.

Biscuits first (adapted from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything):

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits

about a cup of yogurt (I used nonfat and it was fine), maybe a little more.

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into that mixture until the whole mess becomes relatively uniform. Dump in the yogurt and mix until it all comes together in a nice, shreddy, soft ball.

Knead a couple of times--no, seriously, I mean a couple only--on a floured surface, then pat or roll out to about 3/4" thick.

Cut into 2" rounds with a biscuit cutter and bake in a preheated 450* oven until the tops are brown. Reroll and cut the scraps. I ended up with about sixteen biscuits.

(NB: Do not make these any larger than 2". They'll turn out all weird and spongy if you do. Also, handle the dough as little as possible. These are fantastic with strawberry jam.

And do not burn yourself as you take these out of the oven, like I just did.)

Coffeecake That Takes A While But Is Totally Worth It

Mix up:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
a sprinkle or six of nutmeg
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Cut all these ingredients together until the whole mess looks sort of sandy. You can also melt the butter and mix it up that way. If you like, add some broken pecans or chopped walnuts, too.

Mix:

2 cups all-porpoise flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

and set aside.

In a big bowl, with a mixer, cream

1 stick butter, softened, until it's fluffy.

Mix in

1 cup brown or white sugar, or a mixture
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream or yogurt (or I use buttermilk; adjust it so the batter isn't too thick)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Now dump in the flour mixture and mix until it all just comes together. Pour half into a greased-and-floured 9" square pan (or a Bundt pan if you're feeling foncy) and sprinkle on half the streusel mixture. Top with the rest of the batter and the remaining struesel.

(I always make extra streusel 'cause I like it that much, yo.)

Bake at 350* for about an hour, or until the edges of the coffeecake just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Wrap it in plastic, avoiding evil midgets, to store. DO NOT use aluminum foil, as the acids in the sour cream/yogurt/buttermilk will eat through the foil.

Sometimes, instead of nuts in the streusel, I add a couple of apples that I've cut into eenbeeninesy pieces. Don't top the coffeecake with the apple mixture; just put 'em in the middle layer.

Or you could throw in some chocolate chips.

Or maybe a cup or so of blueberries.

Don't make any plans for the rest of the day if you make this coffeecake. It's good hot, it's good warm, it's good stored in the refrigerator and then toasted. You'll want to spend the whole day just nibbling on it.

2 comments:

I, Goddess said...

About that coffee cake. Just how many porpoises are in 2 cups of all porpoise flour? Tasty and entertaining!

Becca said...

Those both sound seriously yummy, but - and maybe I've missed something crucial here - where's the coffee?