Chocolate Chip Crumb Pound Cake

I have come to the forgone conclusion that we are the most disliked people in our neighborhood.

Not by the neighbors, mind you…. by the HOA. The association seems to have issues with us, starting with the motorcycles parked in the driveway. Apparently that’s against regulations.

Really? A motorcycle parked in your own driveway? I mean, these are nice motorcycles, not broken down junkers with the tires removed, parked on blocks, leaking oil and creating an eyesore, a la “Sanford and Son”. So after we received several not-so-nice notices where legal action was threatened if we didn’t move them out of sight, J put them into the garage and we were technically “in compliance” once again.

With the bikes, anyway.

Yesterday, I received a notice that we are once again violating their perfect community because our trash can was visible from the street.

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seriously.

I (we, really) am counting the days until the ranch house is complete………

Chocolate Chip Crumb Pound Cake – adapted from Bake or Break

For the crumb topping:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the crumb topping:

Combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter until the mixture is moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs in 3 portions, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

Transfer half of the batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture evenly over the batter. Top with remaining cake batter. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top of cake batter and press gently into the batter.

Bake 1 hour 35 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cake completely in pan on a wire rack.

Banana Blueberry Crumb Muffins

It always makes me so happy when a food related experiment turns out successful, because lately, I’ve had quite a few “mishaps” in the kitchen.

Mishaps sounds so much nicer than incidents or accidents. 

But we really don’t need to bring those out into the open, do we? Well, probably not…….. however, since there are no secrets here, I will tell you that in the last 4 days, I’ve made two dinners that didn’t turn out well at all (i.e. almost inedible), burned out the motor on the drinker mixer, broke one of the good drinking glasses, and cracked a plastic serving bowl in half.

The last mishap (there’s that word again!) resulted in a large quantity of potato chips flying across the kitchen floor, which then resulted in two dogs desperately racing around, trying to eat as many as they could before I was able clean up the mess.

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Now, of course, the pups have taken to staring at the top of the refrigerator where the chips are stored, in the hopes that one of the bags will take an unfortunate tumble to the floor. I’m half expecting to see these two jokesters appropriate a kitchen chair to climb up and help themselves.

I think it might be time to install a camera in the kitchen……

Banana Blueberry Crumb Muffins – adapted from various online sources

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of ripe, mashed banana
1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping:

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¾ cups flour

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, cinnamon, and flour. Pour the butter over top and using a spatula, mix until large crumbs form.

To make the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 jumbo size muffin cups with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and bananas until blended. Add the dry ingredients and blueberries, and gently stir just until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle on the crumb topping. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

Yield: 6 large muffins

New York Crumb Cake……. and the beat goes on

** deep breath **

So here we are.

Two days into the new school year, and I’m already wishing for a vacation. I actually looked forward to going into work yesterday, just to escape all of the school preparations for the week, because I literally spent all day Sunday shopping for school supplies, doing laundry, organizing, prepping lunches, etc.

Well, except for that little noontime sojourn to Michael Stars at Town Square ;)

Hey, all the new fall merchandise is coming out, cut me a little slack, ok?

Ok.

Anyway, the mornings are quite a change from the laid back days of summer, when my days weren’t quite so regimented. But I must say, it’s a great feeling when I consider what I have accomplished before 8:00 in the morning.

Oh, and the most important thing?  Making sure that Alexander keeps to his word (and his signed contract) to be ready on time…..

And when he sees this cake on the counter waiting for him, the day is guaranteed to start off on a positive note :)

New York Crumb Cake – adapted from Sara Foster

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.
Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.
Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.