Well, Hello there!
Katie from Katie at the Kitchen Door and I are joining forces today. If you have never been to her blog – you must, you just have to head over there. Katie is oh so talented…her talents in the kitchen and behind the camera are out of this world. When she asked me to write a guest post for her blog, while she is on vacation, I couldn’t but jump at the chance.
And if you are visiting my little space on the Internet because you are wandering over here from Katie’s blog….then you totally know what I am talking about. She is awesome, right?!? And welcome! I am so very glad to have you here today.
Let’s get going!
The sun is shining. The trees are budding. Daffodils are waving ever so slightly in the breeze. Tulips are testing the waters…soon to be in full bloom. The grass is growing fast and furious, aided by the April showers. Spring is starting to slowly and finally roll into Ohio. It has been a long winter and we want nothing more than warm afternoons and long lazy evenings. Spring in Ohio requires us to practice patience.
In the spring, we have this internal urge to clean out the old and bring in new. Start fresh – Spring, to me, has always represented a new year more so than January 1st ever has. Something takes hold and before we know it windows are being cleaned, floor boards scrubbed, closets sorted and organized, and if you are me – fridges and freezers are overhauled. It has been a long winter – heaven only knows what I have stocked and stored away over the cold months. I am like a squirrel hoarding nuts. So it was no surprise to me when I found 2 extra bags of fresh frozen cranberries in my freezer last week. Left over from Thanksgiving/Christmas. Stored away just in case. Just in case I needed to whip up a cranberry sauce. Or jam. Or needed a another loaf of orange cranberry bread.
Honestly, I had forgotten about them. Big Surprise. So, when Katie asked me to guest blog and I was scratching my head and standing in front of my refrigerator wondering what recipe I would offer her readers…I spotted the cranberries. And instantly thought…I bet there are more people out there like me. Spring cleaning and finding extra bags of cranberries (among many other things… why do I buy so many packages of frozen spinach?!?).
I know, I know…cranberries are generally eaten around winter holidays, but I think they are perfect this time of year ( and I am not just saying this because I have an abundance). They have a bright tart flavor, matching the feeling of an early spring afternoon. A coffee cake with a thin layer of sweetened cranberries and a coconut streusel top is just what a Sunday afternoon calls for. A lazy Sunday afternoon spent on your porch, soaking up the sunshine, getting lost in a good book, with baseball on the radio in the back ground. All while you nibble away on an extra large piece of coffee cake that is studded with little flecks of vanilla bean. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Always coffee.
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1¾ cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ⅓ Cup Flaked Coconut, unsweetened
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter and line bottom with parchment paper. Grease parchment.
- Make vanilla sugar: With the tip of a paring knife, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and place in a food processor with 1+3/4 Cup of sugar. Pulse to combine. Transfer to another bowl - you will need the food processor again.
- Place cranberries and ½ Cup of vanilla sugar in food processor and pulse until chopped but NOT pureed.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt - set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
- Pour ½ of batter into bottom of prepare pan - the batter will be very thick, so spread it out with a butter knife.
- Spoon cranberries over the batter, leaving a ½ inch border around edge. Spread the remaining batter over cranberries. (With the batter being so thick, the best way to do this is by dolloping spoonfuls of batter all over cranberry filling and very carefully with a buttered knife, gradually spreading the batter over the filling)
- Prepare crumble topping : In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup of vanilla sugar, flaked coconut, tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon of flour. Crumble with fingers or fork until pebble like.
- Spread evenly over top of cake.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (don't test into cranberry filling).
- Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes before removing from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
- Serve with coffee and good conversation.
Adapted from Gourmet December 2008