Tag Archives: streusel

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Swirl Cake with Caramel Penuche

(Congrats to Pearl, who won last week’s KIND bar giveaway! And thank you to everyone who showed their kindest support by entering.)

Once every few months, you probably have one of those days where you just stop and think, My god, that was a really good day.

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Maybe your friend surprised you with a late birthday present, or you got to go to the happiest place on Earth with friends, or maybe you ran 10 miles and then proceeded to stuff your face with 40 vendors’ worth of breakfast food samples, a giant chocolate-and-sprinkle dipped cookie dough ice cream cone with more sprinkles on top, and freakin’ bomb Chinese food.

Around here, these days are not the exception: they are the norm.

And yes, ALL of these things happened to me on this exceptionally normal day.

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I was browsing through my Brain archives tonight thinking about what I wanted to write, and it suddenly hit me that it’s been a long time since I’ve talked about ME. Instead, I’ve been off pontificating and musing and philosophizing about a whole bunch of things, which is totally fine, but then you’re probably thinking that I spend my self-professedly “busy” daytimes off running drug cartels or something.

Which I’m not. Btw.

In case you were wondering why I’m posting coffee cake instead of brownies this week. Ahrm.

 

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A lot–and I mean a lot–of my time has been spent researching. I’m also shuttling myself back and forth a lot these days due to personal issues, which is a cryptic way of saying that I’m on the road a lot and majorly burnt out. However, once in a while any time I’m not crashing and burning, I’m having an adventurous time doing things like going to a Pancake Day Festival where over 40 vendors bring out their best samples of food and you spend 3 hours eating 50 bajillion types of breakfast sammies, pancakes (of course), grit parfaits, veganaise-topped frittatas, salted caramel bread pudding, and dulce de leche churros (which is a breakfast food–obvi).

12 hours later, my eyes are still food coma-ing from the mere sight of these pictures which–believe me–don’t even begin to do justice to the ridiculous number of plates we picked up and stuffed into our happy bellies!

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Of course…..

No amount of food comatosification (yes, I just made up a word–I am 94% sure that earning a Master’s Degree in English entitles me to do that) was about to stop us from doing this when we got to DISNEYLAND at 3 PM:

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Yes, that’s sprinkles on top of a sprinkle-dipped chocolate waffle cone and a ginormous scoop of ice cream from Gibson Girl’s. Go big or go bigger, momma always said.

The great thing about being an annual passholder is that days at Disneyland do not feel like a neurotic roadtrip with your in-laws. Granted, I have no idea in holy heck what that would be like (stressful, I imagine), but line-jumping and crowd-weaving and kid-hurtling are all distant memories. We hit up a few shows (Mickey’s Magic Map was AMAZING, for the record), rode the fastest spinning teacup on the Mad Hatter’s ride (note: it’s the purple one), and just chilled and ate ice cream while waiting in line for Aladdin.

And then we went home, and my awesome Disney buddy gave me this drawing he bought from the shop for my (belated) birthday present:

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He knows I love Ellie so. Darn. Much. She and I are basically kindred spirits, except kindreder.

Anyway, that’s kind of questionable proof that I do still exist, and that I do have the busy life that I claim I lead, and that my blog hasn’t been replaced by a semi-automated robotic arm that periodically updates delicious photos here to avoid arousing suspicion about the fact that it actually ate me alive in my sleep.

Or something like that.

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But I’m sure you’ll excuse Homocidal Robo-Arm if you are looking at this bomb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Swirl Cake with Caramel Penuche I made a few weeks ago for a group of friends. He’s got good taste for an A.I. creature, I’ll give him that much.

This cake was some of the moistest and crumb-iest (not crummy!) cake I’ve made, and no wonder–I adapted it from this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake recipe that got rave reviews and tons of attention when I posted it for #SundaySupper two weekends ago. But what I love best is the warming, Fall-anticipatory taste of cinnamon that absolutely fills up the kitchen while it’s baking. And that crumb!

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What really sends this cake over the top, though, is the top: yessiree, that caramel penuche! None of the fuss of actual caramel (move aside, candy thermometers)–just a little bit of brown sugar & butter boiling happily away, plus a few staple pantry ingredients, and you’re on your way to one darn good slice of coffee crumb cake.

And believe you me when I say that if this cake was still hanging around in my kitchen, we’d be having a massive tete-a-belly right about now…..even after pancakesicecreameverything.

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Do me a favor and make this ASAP. Then do me a favor and do not send it to me, or I may love you forever and sit creepily outside your front window under the hedges with a fork and a big sign that declares you are the Coffee Cake Queen/King.

With a big heart on it.

Okay, time to stop writing. Cheerios, and happy Today is Coffee Cake Monday!

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 Love,

 Ala

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Swirl Cake with Caramel Penuche

This crazy good streusel coffee cake uses the same base recipe as my rave-reviewed Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake but with a cinnamon-y twist! Heavy on the crumb and packed with a burst of brown sugar flavor from the penuche, this recipe is a great alternative to my other coffee cake recipe. (The zested lemon in this recipe was actually an accident since I had my mind on the other cake recipe--a lovely accident!)

Ingredients

    Cinnamon Swirl:
  • - 1/4 cup white sugar
  • - 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Streusel Coffee Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • Caramel Penuche:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk or dairy-free milk
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Vanilla Drizzle:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk, added only as needed

Instructions

    For the cinnamon swirl:
  1. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. For the streusel coffee cake:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture.
  5. Mix baking powder and baking soda into the remaining large bowl of flour mixture. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, and mix vigorously until batter is smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Sally notes here that it should resemble frosting.) Gently stir in lemon zest if using.
  6. To make the crumb: Mix brown sugar into the reserved flour mixture.
  7. Sprinkle half of your crumb topping as evenly as possible into your bundt pan. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, then sprinkle prepared cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter, followed by the remaining crumb topping, leaving an inch around the edges so your batter can seep in. Pour remaining batter on top.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. For the caramel penuche:
  10. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and bring mixture to a boil for 2 minutes. Add milk, then bring to a boil again. Turn off heat and quickly whisk in powdered sugar until penuche is completely smooth. Allow to cool slightly (but not completely) before pouring over cake.
  11. For the vanilla drizzle:
  12. Combine sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk (as needed to reach drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the top of your cooled coffee cake and enjoy!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/08/25/cinnamon-streuselcoffee-swirl-cake-caramel-penuche/

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Filed under Cakes & Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

By the way, this cake? Is BOMB. So don’t forget to bookmark and Pin it before you read on: just because I’m straying off-topic today (and I will be you’ll see), doesn’t mean this cake wasn’t devoured in about two seconds to the highest accolade. Did I mention it’s probably in my Top 5 Recipes for this year? 

My blog is my Pensieve, and you are all the unfortunate captive witnesses to my unfiltered thoughts. Muahahaha.

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Well I mean, not “captive,” really. It’s not like I can actually keep you here–unless you find my charm so overwhelmingly paralyzing that your eyeballs stay glued to the screen in spite of your concerted efforts to tear them away. I bet this is a major problem for most of you, right? Right.

Today’s post is going to be a ramblepost…in case your gut didn’t inform you already.

However, I should mention before I continue that today’s post is also a #SundaySupper post with the way-talented SS bloggers! And the theme is Saving Summer, which is why I’m sharing lemons. The best thing about lemons is that you can “save” them by freezing them and simply popping them into the microwave for a few seconds when you need fresh juice/zest! Neat trick, right?

Okay, #continueramble…

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The funny thing about my rambles and writing this food blog is that I’m not actually really into writing about food. Okay, so when it comes to picking recipes from the bajillion-and-fifty-two that live on the interwebs, awesome descriptions about how your (say, random example) Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake features a tangy, sweet, incredibly moist, savor-every-bite crumb topping with the perfect balance of vanilla drizzle might convince someone that they actually want to make your recipe.

But while I could (and probably should) be writing things of that nature on a FOOD BLOG, I’m just standing over here at my computer going YawnyYawnYawnittyYaaaawn.

“Selling” my recipes to you reminds me too much of my marketing days. I’d much rather be doing things other than raving to you about how insanely quickly this coffee cake was eaten up by all my friends.

So many other things, I’m sure.

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Seriously. I don’t feel like talking about it, okay? I mean, look at those gifs and these photos. Who would want to talk about them ALL DAY?

Apophasis, people. English major says: Look it up.

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But let’s be serious for a second here. One thing I’ve never really had a chance to talk about here is that I’m not the stereotypical food blogger. I certainly never considered turning it into a career or more than a really great hobby. In fact, I’m totally a writer first, baker second, social media guru third, photographer fourth, and lord-oh-lord-me an editor/administrative/organized human being disaster last. So when people find out I’m a food blogger and tell me I must looooove baking & taking pics & everything, I’m all just like

Yeah that stuff’s aight

and we all move on with our lives. Maybe eat a slice of lemon curd cake while we write children’s picture books and nonsense stories (which would be my dream line of work someday–now I just need to find someone who will pay me to write little tales and eat homemade desserts all day).

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But that being said,

There is also something indescribably wonderful about being part of a blogging community.

I do love baking, and I do love photographing and being all uppity on my social media. I love the idea of doing all these things, but there are things about it I don’t love: I certainly don’t relish having to wait until my dinner is cold to eat it because I spent the previous hour shooting it in the twilight lighting. I type so much, my carpal tunnel is much worse now and I’m fighting tooth & nail to keep it at bay (this is probably one of the worst job hazards). And let’s face it, my jeans could probably do without the gallons of butter and margarine and delicious enriching refined ingredients that go into a large chunk of my baked goods.

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However, blogging is more than the sum of its parts for me and when I cobble it all together a la peach cobbler,

I lurve it

Like, a lot.

It’s the writing AND the baking AND the photographing AND the communities AND the people AND the life experiences that make blogging so exciting. Just like a sack of flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, milk, and baking soda all sitting on your counter, nothing about it is inherently exciting…that is, until you combine them and measure them and bake them with care, and you step back to realize that you’ve created a masterpiece.

Sort of like this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake. Amiright? (By the way, you totally saw that tacky glorious metaphor coming, didn’t you? Ha!)

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That’s why, after this totally off-topic post, I’m still totally happy to rave to you about this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake, which has been ten years in the making.

Yes, that’s a lot of time spent on one coffee cake. When we were young, my mom would buy this glorious lemon curd coffee cake from Safeway. It isn’t just nostalgia: I loved this cake to pieces. Crumbly, moist pieces. My mom stopped buying it as we got a little older, but I still dream about it a few times a month. It wasn’t until this month, when my mom sent me back with a whole tubful of lemons–yay for SUMMER–that I finally sat down and thought to myself: finally. Lemon Curd Coffee Cake, here I come!

I paired the very best lemon curd recipe I’ve made with the very best coffee cake recipe I’ve made, so it was a sure recipe for success. Combine that with the fact that I tweaked for extra crumb / vanilla drizzle, and you’ll know exactly why my friends absolutely plowed through the 9-inch cake I made last week.

I’ve got big gifs and I cannot lie.

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I’m sharing this save-the-summer dessert with my very favorite #SundaySupper crew today, so don’t forget to check out all the amazing stuff they’ve come up with to save this summer!

Ala

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

This is the ONLY way to make and serve coffee cake. With a super intense crumb topping and a lusciously tart&sweet lemon curd filling, this decadent dessert will get gobbled up ASAP at any time of day! A personal favorite. Lemon curd recipe adapted from Allrecipes. Coffee crumb cake recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

    For the lemon curd:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 3 lemons (I used approximately 1/4 cup zest)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • For the coffee crumb cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • For the vanilla glaze drizzle:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon milk, added only as needed

Instructions

    For the lemon curd:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals, stirring in between each interval. Continue heating until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 4-5 minutes total).
  3. Cover bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two weeks).
  4. For the coffee crumb cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture.
  7. Mix baking powder and baking soda into the remaining large bowl of flour mixture. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, and mix vigorously until batter is smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Sally notes here that it should resemble frosting.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, then spread 2/3 of the lemon curd in dollops over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top; dollop with remaining lemon curd.
  8. To make the crumb: Mix brown sugar into the reserved flour mixture. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the cake batter and lemon curd.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. For the vanilla glaze:
  11. Combine sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk (as needed to reach drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the top of your cooled coffee cake and enjoy!

Notes

Buttermilk substitute: Instead of the 3/4 cup buttermilk in the recipe, you can make your own buttermilk by using 11 tablespoons of milk/soy milk/coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/08/10/lemon-curd-coffee-crumb-cake-sundaysupper/

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here—>Sunday Supper Movement.

74 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Fruit Desserts

Dreamy Raspberry Streusel Magic Bars

What are you making for your mom or the mom-like figure in your life this Sunday?

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I have to admit that I am not making these. Well, maybe I did….but there is no remaining physical evidence to indicate that I did.

That’s right. I ate my mom’s Mother Day baked goods gift.

Oops. Love you, mumsy.

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The frontal lobe of my twisted brain reasons that I am flying my own sweet little self back home for Mother’s Day, and that my mom will therefore have everything she needs (i.e. me). Plus, she won’t miss what she never, er, knew she was missing out on. Right?

Right? Who’s with me?

You’ll understand what I mean shortly. Skedaddle off to the kitchen and make these gooey, crunchy, cinnamony, sweet, and simple bars–I guarantee you, they won’t last you until Sunday. And if they do–well, you’re either a saint, or you’re a mother yourself and have the patience of a saint.

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And if you are a mother, you should totally hoard the entire pan, because–well, it’s your day, and you can. And who ever needed a better excuse than THAT?

Happy (early) Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers who fill up our kitchens with warm aromas and our lives with lots of love!

Ala

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Dreamy Raspberry Streusel Magic Bars
Adapted from a fantastic original recipe at Mom on Time Out
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups sweetened coconut, flaked
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate (for drizzling)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate (for drizzling)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, white sugar, 3/4 cup melted butter, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Press lightly and evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle coconut over graham cracker crust, then pour sweetened condensed evenly over coconut. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and cool completely. While waiting for bars to cool, make streusel topping (recipe to follow).
  5. Spread raspberry preserves over cooled bars. Press prepared streusel lightly into the jam.
  6. Place semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir; return to microwave and continue heating at 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is completely melted. Do the same for the white chocolate. Drizzle melted chocolates over the bars, then cut and serve!

For streusel topping:

  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or nut of your choice (optional–if you omit them, increase oats by 1/2 cup)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Press lightly onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until light brown. Crumble while still hot; set aside to cool completely.
  3. Press into the tops of your magic bars!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Frosty Pumpkin Streusel Magic Bars

It’s spring! You know what that means…

lovin’ the sunshine

lovin’ the flirty sundresses

lovin’ the beaches

lovin’ life

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loving the gifs!

How could you NOT love that creamy, squishy sweet pumpkin magic bar layer there?

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Yes, I’m sure all of you who have seen my latest batch of posts know that I have recently become obsessed with gifsWhether or not this will turn out to be an occupational hazard to my health remains to be seen.

Are they all lovely gifs? Certainly not. I’m a gif-fing amateur (is giffing a word? What good is being in an English doctoral program if you can’t make up your own words? Giffing is a word)–I use *cringe* online software because for some reason or other Windows Movie Maker does not work on my computer. I cannot figure out for the holy life of me why. (Any ideas, techie folks!)

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So back to my point–these gifs are not Da Vincis. In artistic merit, they’re not Picassos or Monets or even Stephanie Meyers–nope, they’re definitely better than that.  Sorry, Team Mayers folks. It must be said.

As my dearest friend Clark Gable says about this very subject (or maybe it was a different one–I get mixed up when it’s this time of the school year), “Frankly m’dear–I don’t give a damn.

Because I drool over them anyway. This may or may not have physically happened to me in the middle of, erm, lecture last week when I was staring at them. It’s okay, nobody noticed.

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There were many reasons for my choosing to go total gif-scapade (invented word number two–I’m on a roll! er, a stale one), but the biggest one was when I made the world’s fudgiest brownies and wondered how in holy heck I could convince you all of it. Pictures didn’t seem like enough. (As the Genie says: “Not enough…”)

Movement? Yes.

Showing the fudginess? Yes.

Gif? Yes, yes, YES.

Also, if you haven’t already seen the gif-spirational sensation Izy over at Top with Cinnamon, you probably want to pop on over there. Give credit where credit’s due, I always say! She’s a gif-nius.

So. To wrap it up, since I’m out of writing space (and frankly, I have a pile of papers waiting here to be graded).

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Students asked me for this recipe.

Fellow TA’s asked me for this recipe.

You’ll want this recipe.

Kind of like you’ll probably want to eat these gifs and photos off the screen right now. Don’t. It’ll ruin your screen. I’d advise running to your oven RIGHT NOW instead.

Because they’re scrumdiddlyfantawesomelectabletasticumptious.

(PhD…here I come.)

Ala

Frosty Pumpkin Streusel Magic Bars
Adapted from Bakers Royale
Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 large apple or 1.5 medium apples, peeled and chopped (I used Fuji)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 recipe streusel topping (below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, white sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon until mixture is completely moistened. Press lightly but evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Pour evenly over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle apples, coconut, white chocolate chips, and streusel over the top of the mixture; press ingredients lightly into the top so that they stick.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 32-37 minutes, until center is mostly but not completely set. (If it’s still gooey, that’s perfectly fine–it will firm up a bit in the freezer).
  5. Allow to cool slightly at room temperature, then pop the batch into the freezer for 30 minutes for easier cutting. Cut into bars; store leftovers in freezer.
  6. NOTE: Alternatively, you can bake these bars 3-5 minutes longer than the listed baking time. This will result in bars that can be stored and served at room temperature.

Streusel topping:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter and rub through with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Use as streusel topping for pumpkin magic bars, muffins, breads, or anything you’d like!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts

Hawaiian Banana Coconut Streusel Muffins

One of dearest professor’s spouses passed away last night.

I think all of us had a hard time staying focused after hearing the news. I know my mind was full of a whirlwind of thoughts.

What happens when it’s somebody who’s really close to you?

I can’t even begin to imagine. I thank my lucky stars that I can’t, but I can’t. I can’t. Period.

Sometimes those moments creep up on me and everything suddenly stops. Maybe I’m in the middle of scanning Beowulf. Maybe I’m standing in the kitchen half-listening as my mom chatters away at me while she’s making ma po tofu. Maybe I’m just sitting there thinking about something completely unrelated, like how I really want to make marshmallow Tigger Tails for Halloween.

The spoon stops stirring. The scanning is suspended. Whatever I’m doing, stops.

My parents aren’t going to be around for the rest of my life. Neither are my grandparents, or brother, or friends or mentors or cousins or aunts or uncles or all the people I know and love so dearly.

Wallflour Power: “Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” –Mark Twain

I have a really, really hard time wrapping my mind around that. I always thought I could handle the thought of it when the time came, in theory, but now I’ve been thrown off by something so removed from myself that I just. Can’t. Imagine.

And here I am, uploading photos and writing and trying to sort it all out.

It’s always a sign of how much somebody is respected when everyone around him or her feels the blow almost as keenly as if it had happened to them.

Another incredibly difficult thing I never had to think about was how you say you’re sorry when somebody has just lost their life partner, their significant other, their soulmate.

What do I say to that?

What does anyone say when this happens?

We’re sending her a card–I sent her a short email expressing my deepest sympathy and letting her know she’s in my thoughts. There is no template for somebody else’s sorrow.

Thoughts. I’m thinking aloud here. This isn’t a melancholy post, but I can’t help it being a very reflective one, so I’ll leave you all for now with a final photo and maybe, hopefully, more than just one morsel of food for thought to carry with you through the day.

Any thoughts you might have would be deeply appreciated–just as I appreciate all of you and wish you the best in appreciating all those around you.

Hawaiian Banana Coconut Streusel Muffins
Yield: 1 dozen muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes
Ingredients:
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • For Glaze-like streusel (optional): 1/4 cup honey mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 tablespoons flour
  • For streusel topping:
  •  1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (optional)

Directions for muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in coconut and nuts. Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 way each with batter.
  2. At this point, if you’d like to make the glaze-streusel layer, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread lightly on top of each batter-filled liner. (Note: the glaze adds an amazing dimension of crunch and sweetness, but it will also darken your muffins slightly. If you’re worried about appearance, skip this step and only do the post-baking oat streusel.) Bake muffins in oven for 17-19 minutes (making sure to top with streusel with 5 minutes left of baking), until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  3. To make streusel: While your muffins are baking, combine streusel topping ingredients in a small bowl. Press gently on top of each muffin five minutes before your muffins are done baking. This will prevent the streusel from melting or oozing off.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Muffins