Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Well, I just couldn't keep out of the kitchen for long. I went to the library on Saturday and I found this fantastic book from the Pillsbury company called "Muffins and Quick Breads." It had so many yummy recipes that I sat in the parking lot at Harmon's for almost 20 minutes just trying to decide which one to make (you know how good I am at making decisions :) ). Suddenly I realized that I had only 30 minutes to get my grocery shopping done, get home, unload my goods, and get to the church for a service project! I made a mad dash through the store for apples, plain yogurt, and few things to eat the rest of the week. Luckily I had everything else for the cake. Miraculously I made it to the church in time to go help serve at the soup kitchen.

This is what it looked like before I baked it and without the streusel topping. Gorgeous!

It was a fantastically simple cake to make and it looks so gorgeous! I really like this book because most of the recipes are low fat (substituting yogurt or applesauce for butter/oil/eggs). Because of the yogurt, the cake was amazingly moist. The streusel topping was sweet and crunchy. The apples were vibrant and soft-crisp. It was a contrast of textures and flavors that was a perfect for fall.

Surprisingly everyone in the lab loved it. Even Michelle (who is my hardest critic) said that this was one of her favorites. It's definitely a "do-over" recipe.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 cups thinly sliced, unpeeled apples


¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8- or 9- inch round spring-form or 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, blend well. Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt to margarine, beat well after each addition. Spread batter in pan and arrange apple slices over batter.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients except margarine. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine/butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over apples.

Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. If desired, remove from pan.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well it took me a few days but here is some of the great food from Conference weekend.

We met Cindy, Larry, Leslie, Chad, Rorie, and Kerry at Spaghetti Factory. The food was…Spaghetti Factory food. I get the same thing every time I eat Italian…Three Cheese Ravioli. I did like the Spumoni though. But it was most fun just to catch up with everyone.

On Saturday, Dad, decided to make Cinnamon Rolls. These rolls are from the famous Williams Sonoma baking book. They looked fantastic and tasted pretty good. Dad is definitely up for the monthly Daring Bakers Challenge.

We had a fun quesadilla dinner on Sunday with Nic and Bret and the kids. I think everyone had fun and liked the food (a miracle when you are trying to feed 4 adults, three and a half kids, Grandma and me (I haven’t figured out which category I fall in yet!)).

I also made a Tivoli Torte from the Junior League of Colorado cookbook. Each layer was made with ½ cup of batter and then broiled for 1 minute. The cake was not sweet enough and the frosting was too sweet. It was not my favorite but it looked pretty cool. Definitely a “been there done that” recipe. I am definitely ready for some more baking though…we’ll see what comes next.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You Win Some You Lose Some

I have been a little delinquent in updating my blog. I have some fun pictures of the Tivoli Torte I made conference weekend but I just haven't downloaded them yet.

Instead I thought I would highlight some culinary concoctions by Peter. So Dad decided to make some Crab Bisque last Sunday. He got the recipe from the Lion House Classics cookbook so you would think it would be good. But...it was a disaster. Here is a quote from Peter, "It wasn't the best, and mom didn't like it. She only ate 2 bites. We through [sic] the rest of the 12 servings away." Maybe it was the fact that the recipe had four different kinds of soup combined...tomato, cream of celery, cream of mushroom and split pea soup (Dad actually used Split Pea with Ham...bleh!!!).

Doesn't even sound good. Mom, it's a good thing you didn't invite Grandma!!! You might have killed her!!! :)

Well, you can't win them all Dad. Keep trying!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Weekend Bake Off

Well I still don't know exactly how it happened but suddenly I became the ward caterer. I signed up to bring a dessert to the Bishop's Fireside on Sunday. Then they needed someone to bring a cake to the General RS Broadcast at the Stake . Then I found out that the RS was helping with the dinner at the Fireside on Sunday so I asked if I could help and was told to bring two 7-layer bean dips.

When I woke up on Saturday to a cold and rainy day I thought, "Mmmm…A perfect day for baking." I ran to the store and got all I needed and started with "That Chocolate Cake" from The Essence of Chocolate. While I was making it I realized that it's the same recipe that is on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder. I have made that cake before and it is delicious. So I was excited that I would have a good cake to take to the RS Broadcast.

You can imagine my shock when I found that in the middle of the baking the cake centers fell. At first I thought I could still use them but once they cooled it got even worse!!! How sad! They got tossed in the garbage.

So I ended up making a Duncan Hines Chocolate Bundt Cake. I was so embarrassed that it wasn't "homemade" that I used my extra cream to make a caramel sauce for the top. It was my first time ever to make caramel and it turned out pretty good. I ended up putting the leftovers on the pumpkin cheesecake.

Despite the chocolate cake mishap (which I think was due to too much baking powder at high altitudes). The Pumpkin Cheesecake turned out perfectly. The spiced graham cracker crust was delicious (although it stuck to the pan???). And I had 5 people ask for the recipe!

The 7-layer beans dips were also a hit. But to be honest after all that baking...I need at least a few days off before I try anything else. (But I'll probably be ready to try something new for conference weekend!!!)

Maria was a big help with the picture taking and carrying stuff into the church!!! Thanks Maria!