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Hungarian Rhapsody Coffee Cake Cheesecake for breakfast? Coffee cake for dessert? Either way, the versatility of this impressive cake cannot be denied. With its cheesecake-like texture and egg-rich flavor, this cake stands out at any gathering any time of the day. Just how delicious is it? I made it for a potluck brunch the other day and people fought over the last few pieces. The list of ingredients may scare healthier-eaters away, but keep in mind, this coffee cake is meant to be served in very small portions!

Hungarian Rhapsody Coffee Cake
Congressman Tom Lantos, California Poppycoctions Cookbook, Volume 3

INGREDIENTS
Crust:
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Filling:
1-and-1/2 cups butter or margarine
1-and-1/3 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
3 teaspoons lemon juice or vanilla
1/3 cup flour
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. To make crust: mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and flour. Pat into 9 x 13-inch Pyrex dish. Bake 20 minutes in oven. Set aside.

3. Cream together butter with 1 cup sugar.

4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add lemon juice or vanilla. Add flour and cream cheese. Cream until smooth.

6. Whip egg whites, gradually add 1/3 cup sugar. Fold into egg yolk mixture.

7. Pour into “half-baked” crust. Bake in 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. Test with knife to see if it comes out clean.

8. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into small squares.

Serves 18-22

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Although I’ve made this coffee cake many times before, I don’t recall the crust mixture being so greasy. The ratio of flour to melted butter didn’t seem right. The end result still tasted good, but I think there is room for improvement. The next time I make this, I will use less butter or add more flour to better incorporate the butter or I will substitute a different butter crust recipe.

2. I used the combination of 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp vanilla, because I happened to have some freshly squeezed lemon juice on hand.

4. Make sure the cream cheese is soft or else your batter can turn out lumpy. Tiny lumps in the batter are okay as they disappear as the cake bakes.

5. This coffee cake can be a little messy to serve and eat. I like to cut the cake into squares and place them into cupcake liners for ease of eating and a clean and attractive presentation.

ENJOY!

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Tried-and-true recipes that are handed down from mother to child or shared from friend to friend are the jewels in every woman’s recipe collection. A tattered pink index card holds an all-time favorite sour cream coffee cake recipe of mine, and is a good example of a jewel in my collection. Even though I can’t recall the source of the recipe, the delicious ribbons of nuts, sugar and cinnamon swirling through a moist cake are unforgettable. Coffee cakes just don’t get better than that. That is, until now! From the Grand Central Baking Book comes this easy and well-written recipe that has several great things going for it. One – the recipe is from the Grand Central Bakery, a renowned bakery in the Pacific Northwest. Two – the coffee cake bakes in a 9 by 13-inch pan instead of a deep tube or bundt pan, thus decreasing baking time. Three – this coffee cake offers the versatility of adding a layer of fresh seasonal fruit on top of a delicate, moist cake. Four – a crunchy oat streusel covers the fresh fruit. The author likens it to a fruit crisp on top of a cake. You’ll want to add this “jewel” of a recipe to your own collection!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Recipe from the Grand Central Baking Book

Ingredients:

STREUSEL
½ cup (4 ounces, or 1 stick) cold unsalted butter
½ cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
½ cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
¾ cup (2.75 ounces) rolled oats

COFFEE CAKE
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
¾ cup (6 ounces, or  1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (12.75 ounces) sour cream

2 cups diced fresh fruit or berries

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

2. Dice the butter into ¼- to ½-inch cubes, then combine it with the granulated and brown sugars, flour, and salt. Use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingers to mix the ingredients until crumbly, then mix in the oats. If you’re making the streusel ahead of time, cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to proceed with the recipe.

3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl with high sides. Make a well in the center.

4. In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, butter, and vanilla together. Pour the mixture into the well, then add the sour cream by evenly distributing large spoonfuls around the edges of the dry ingredients. Gently mix the batter, using a large spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use big, slow, circular strokes that scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with each motion. Don’t worry if the batter appears slightly lumpy, or if there are streaks of sour cream. The delicate texture of this batter is achieved through minimal mixing. (Some small patches of flour may still be visible; this is okay, as they’ll be absorbed during the baking process.)

5.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Distribute the fruit in an even layer over the batter, then sprinkle evenly with the streusel. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The streusel should be crunchy and brown, and a skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.

Serve the coffee cake straight from the oven with plenty of fresh, piping hot coffee.

Serves 12

Linnell’s Notes:
I used fresh blueberries that I tossed in a little bit of flour first to prevent them from sinking and turning the batter purple.

This cake stays moist for days – not that it would last that long, but there are only two of us at home to eat it!

Enjoy!

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Although my internal body clock wakes me up at almost the same time every morning, I am just not a morning person – never have been and don’t think I ever will be. Because of this, I never go skiing or take advantage of after-holiday sales. However, I do like morning food! One of my favorite coffee cake recipes comes from a cookbook aptly titled Morning Food by Margaret S. Fox, the former owner-chef of Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino. This coffee cake makes any morning infinitely better!

Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffee Cake
2 1/4 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk

Mix together in a large bowl the flour, salt, l tsp. of the cinnamon, ginger, both sugars, and corn oil. Remove 3/4 cup of this mixture, and to it add the nuts and the remaining l tsp. of cinnamon. Mix well, and set aside to use as a topping.

To the remaining batter, add the baking soda, baking powder, egg, and buttermilk. Mix to combine all ingredients. Small lumps in the batter are okay.

Pour the batter into a well-greased 9x13x2-inch pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the surface. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

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