power of a recipe

Over the weekend I taught two of my oldest bestest friends how to cook a scrumptious brunch for their mother, my second mother, on Mother's Day. One part I skipped over, but probably contained the most important lesson a new cook/baker can learn, was the coffee cake. The coffee cake recipe I use is a family favorite, but usually takes on a different form. Christmas mornings, or any other important morning where our family congregates, features one of these cakes, traditionally with a brown sugar/cinnamon/pecan center and crumb.

I decided to change it up with blueberries because there is an abundance of them at the store right now. I simply washed up a pint and folded them into the batter, adding about 15 minutes to the cook time to account for the added moisture. After the cake cooled, I added a lemon glaze to the cake for some tartness. It turned out perfectly.

The mark of a good recipe is that it's versatile...maybe the versatility isn't written down on paper, maybe no one has ever tried a variation of it, but it's worth it to experiment. I see the hundreds of recipes I pin on Pinterest and collect on paper and I have to laugh because I always go back to the tried and true recipes like this one. Get to know the good recipes and stick with them. They will, like good friends, be there when you need them.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake, with blueberries!
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
2 cups sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and picked through (for stems, mushy berries, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10" Bundt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Blend until fully incorporated.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to wet mixture and blend until smooth.

Fold in blueberries with a spatula. Pour mixture into Bundt pan and bake for approximately one hour, or until cake is light brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Inverted onto serving dish and cool thoroughly.

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon

Mix together until incorporated with a fork or whisk. Add more juice or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency, which should be similar to honey/molasses. Pour or spoon on top of cooled cake.

-- 2 cups frozen cranberries with orange zest + orange glaze
-- 2 cups chocolate chips
-- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut with lime zest + lime glaze
-- Or, my second mother's suggestion - soak it in booze.

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.