Super Crumb Crumb Cake

Today is my last day of peace, quiet and serenity.

Ahhhh – bliss…….

Tomorrow it all comes to a screeching halt, as the posse will be returning to Austin in the morning. What this means is a substantial increase in the amount of  noise, a definite surge in the amount of cooking/baking, and a high probability of rambunctious teenagers (read: Alexander’s friends) loitering about in the hopes of being invited to stay for dinner.

I think I see the potential for negotiation: dinner = helping out at the ranch.

It’s a good (albeit slightly devious) strategy…..
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Super Crumb Crumb Cake – adapted from Serious Eats

There’s crumb cake, and then there’s CRUMB cake. Be warned: it’s extremely delicious…

  • For the Batter:
  • 1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs. (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 18 tbs. (9 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9- by 9-inch baking pan. To make the batter, stir the flour, sugar, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter, oil, egg, vanilla, and milk to bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread into prepared pan.

For the topping, in the same unwashed bowl that contained the batter, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add vanilla and melted butter, and then toss with a fork until mixture forms large moist crumbs. Scatter over top of batter. Bake until center is firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or room temperature.

Our New Favorite Crumb Cake

Over the past two weeks, thanks to the amazingly warm weather we have been blessed with, I have logged quite a few miles in my spiffy new Nike running shoes.  However, before I go any further, allow me to state, for the record, that the preceding sentence was not a plug for the brand.

It was, in fact, a statement of fact. And that’s a fact…

I had to buy new athletic shoes when I took a close look at my old running shoes and realized why my feet were aching so badly after my workouts…. the soles were almost completely worn down in spots. A good sign (that means a lot of workouts) and a bad sign (that I neglected to replace them sooner).

The point of the story is that while I have been dutifully breaking in my new shoes, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a new page I am working on for the blog, which is a listing of all our favorites that will facilitate my ability to find what I’m looking for in a reasonable amount of time. And since I discovered that I have 14 variations of chocolate chip cookies, I think it would behoove myself (and the posse, should they be so inclined..) to have the absolute favorites listed in one place.

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Which brings us to this crumb cake. It was, in a  word, sublime. I think what sent it to “most favored” status was the fact that the cake portion stays soft, even a few days after baking. The other version I was using became dry and unpalatable after a day or so.

And no one – repeat, no one – likes dry cake.

Mom – your comments were dutifully noted :)

Our New Favorite Crumb Cake – adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour

Cake
1 1/4 cups  cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
confectioners’ sugar (optional, to finish)

To make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter. Add the cake flour and use a rubber spatula to fold it in until cohesive. The mixture will be very thick. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 F with a rack in the upper third. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides so you can lift the cake out afterward. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the cake flour, sugar, and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low briefly to combine. With the mixer still on low, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until the mixture is crumbly, about 1-2 minutes (there shouldn’t be any visible chunks of butter left). Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and increase the mixer to medium-high speed. Beat until the batter is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and spread into an even layer. Pick up the crumb topping by handfuls, and break off chunks, scattering them over the top of the batter. Use all of the topping – it will be a thick layer. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes, before using the foil handles to lift the cake out of the pan. Cut into squares for serving (dusting with confectioners’ sugar to finish if desired).

Crumb Cake

5 days into the New Year, and I’m ahead of the game. Ahead of my well-documented streak of blowing up appliances, that it.

Confession time: I’ve already broken the deep fryer.

“Broken” isn’t the correct term, truth be told. The fryer had an unfortunate run-in with the rainstorm we had the other night, which of course short circuited the electrical components. Why was the deep fryer exposed to the elements, you might ask? After making fish and chips for New Years Eve dinner (and breaking my cardinal rule of NEVER frying fish in the house), I set the fryer outside on the patio so the oil could cool down before I threw it away.

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Then Mother Nature hit, and well, the fryer will never be the same.

The end.

Crumb Cake – adapted from Sugar Rush via Taste and Tell

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5½ tbs. (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
Topping:
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and sour cream and mix until combined.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk and the vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour and the baking powder. Turn the mixer on low speed and alternately add the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until completely combined. Add in the melted butter and stir until the mixture is completely moistened. Scatter the topping over the top of the batter in the pan, leaving large and small clumps of crumb mixture.

Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and it springs back lightly when pressed. Remove the cake from the oven and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Allow the cake to cool completely. Once the cake is cool, dust generously with powdered sugar, slice and serve.

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.