Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cake…

I had a large container of blueberries just sitting in my refrigerator. Isn’t it funny how what we have in our refrigerators and don’t want to waste often drives what we make? I had blueberries and I had to find a way to put them to great use.

I don’t know about you but I find making cakes in springform pans to be much easier. I like the idea that once the cake first begins to cool you can simply unhook the pan and the cake is released. I also like the fact that you can firmly attach a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan before you add the batter and once the cake has cooled you simply pull the paper out from under the cake and it is safely on whatever plate you want it to be. I find this all very convenient.

But above and beyond the convenience of a springform pan, this cake is delightful and I can tell you having a piece of it with your morning coffee is utter heaven. So let’s talk blueberry muffin breakfast cake…

Lesson Learned 1 – My quest for the perfect crumble: I have to admit I’ve struggled with making a crumble that I truly enjoyed. I found most suggestions for making crumbles to be, for lack of a better term, yucky. More often than not I’ve felt that the crumble tasted too much like dried out lumps of flour. Have you experienced that as well? Well, no more. This combination for a crumble topping is the best yet. In my mind it balances the right amount of fat, sugar, flavoring and flour to give a sweet, but not overly sweet, topping for the cake that in no way tastes like flour. I suggest you use it on other cakes that you make with crumble toppings. I think I’ve finally found the right combination of ingredients for a crumble.

Lesson Learned 2 – The secret to making glaze: The secret to making glaze is there is no secret. I was watching the Pioneer Woman the other day and she and while she was making a glaze she admitted that there is no hard and fast recipe for one. It’s all done by eyeballing and consistency. The important thing to keep in mind is you can’t ruin glaze. Just remember if the glaze is too thick you add a little more liquid and if the glaze is too thin you add a little more powdered sugar. For this particular recipe I opted for a somewhat thicker glaze.

The other thing to remember with glaze is there is no correct consistency. There may be times when you want a thinner glaze and there may be times you want it thicker. And you can control that by adding less liquid for a thick glaze or more for a thin one. It’s as simple as that. So don’t fret over making glaze. It’s probably one of the most forgiving things you can make in the baking world!

Other than these few tips this recipe is pretty standard but it makes an over the top breakfast cake. Try it and let me know what you think…

Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cake...

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS

Cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 extra large egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup whole milk

2 cups blueberries (approximately 1 pint)

Baking spray

Crumble Topping:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. heavy cream or whole milk

1/4 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and clasp the top part of the pan shut. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, put in all the crumble ingredients and cut together with a pastry cutter until the mixture is all combined and resembles clumps of sand. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and combine. Add the vanilla and combine. Add one half of the flour mixture and combine. Add the milk and combine. Add the remainder of the flour mixture and combine until totally incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Spray the springform pan with baking spray including the bottom with the parchment paper (I use the one with flour). Pour the batter into the springform pan. Sprinkle the crumble all over the top of the batter. Use all of the crumble.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (it may have some blueberry on it, but that’s ok). Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. (Some of the crumble may seem a little wet due to the amount of butter in the crumble. That’s ok).

After it has cooled for 15 minutes, slide a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the outside of the springform pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing the parchment paper underneath the cake.

When the cake is completely cooled you can remove the bottom parchment paper and slide the cake onto a serving plate. Combine all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

Serve or store in an air tight container.

 

 

Glazed Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies…

Lately I seem to be on a “sweets” kick with my posted recipes and even though I do have some savory ones in the queue I moved this one to the top simply because it it just too good. Many of you know that I bake a variety of cookies at Christmas time so normally during the year I don’t venture a lot into cookie making. But I had to try this one and it was so good that my husband would not even let me give any away. I had to freeze them so he could eat them all.

When I make cookies over the holidays I have an unwritten rule that I try one new recipe every year and phase out one recipe. That way I always experiment and I keep the cookie making manageable. I am definitely adding this recipe to the 2017 list but will still have to find another recipe to be the “new” one since technically this one is no longer new. But I am really excited about the recipe.

The thing that I love the most about this cookie is how the tartness of the blueberries balances out the sweetness of the cookie. I also like how simple this recipe is to make, you can do it with a hand mixer and a wooden spoon. But there are some specific things you need to be aware of when you make them that will help you be successful so let’s get right into my lessons learned…

Lesson Learned 1 – Be gentle when mixing the blueberries into the dough: You don’t want the blueberries to break. If they do you will wind up with blue cookies. So be careful when folding them into the dough. Do that at the very end. I also suggest adding the blueberries in a couple of batches. The dough is pretty dense and if you pour the blueberries in all at once chances are you won’t get them incorporated into all of the dough and wind up with some cookies without blueberries. Fold them in carefully and in a couple of batches and you should be just fine.

The Cookie Dough

Lesson Learned 2 – These cookies really spread: Don’t roll the dough in too big of a ball as these cookies really spread. And make sure you have enough room between each one so they don’t bake on top of one another. I would roll them into about a 1 inch ball and put two inches between each ball on the baking sheet.

Give the cookies room to spread

Lesson Learned 3 – Remember blueberries stain: Blueberries are wonderful but they will stain and when they do it is virtually impossible to get rid of the stain. So here are a couple of tips to prevent any staining. First line your baking sheet with parchment paper. That helps in two ways. These cookies are very gooey and will stick to your baking sheet. Not a problem with parchment paper. Also when blueberries bake they pop and the parchment paper prevents them from staining your baking sheet.

Also be careful when you are cooling the cookies and the blueberries may still be “leaking”. I cooled mine on a wire rack and then transferred them to a paper plate. That way I didn’t have to worry about staining any dishes as well.

Lesson Learned 4 – These cookies take a long time to bake: On average these cookies take about 14 minutes to bake depending upon how big you make them. In my first batch I rolled the dough into somewhat larger balls and that batch took about 20 minutes to bake (keep in mind I also live in high altitude and everything takes longer to cook here). Once I got the size of the balls down pat it took anywhere from 14-16 minutes, which is a lot for a cookie. You know the cookie is done when you see it begin to lightly brown around the edges. The center of the cookie may still look pale, but that’s ok. Don’t over bake this cookie. If you do you the cookies will be way too crunchy.

Lesson Learned 5 – Let the cookies somewhat cool on the baking sheet: These cookies will be very loose when you take them out of the oven. If you immediately try to put them on a cooling rack the cookies will break apart. Give them about 4-5 minutes to cool on the baking sheet before you put them on the cooling rack. The cookies will need to set a little before you can move them. Don’t worry about doing this. Since your baking sheet will be lined with parchment paper the cookies won’t stick and will transfer easily to the cooling rack once they’ve had a chance to set.

I can’t say enough about how delicious these cookies are. I know if you make them they will become a household staple. You’ve got to try these cookies. And as always, please let me know how they turned out for you. Enjoy!

Glazed Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies...

  • Servings: 2 Dozen
  • Difficulty: Medium
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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup blueberries

GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

juice of one small lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Beat thoroughly until very creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.

With a wooden spoon add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Add the oats and stir to combine. Last fold in the blueberries in a couple of batches being careful not to break the blueberries.

Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving approximately two inches between each ball.

Bake for 14 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown (the center of the cookie may still look light and that is ok). Remove the cookies from the oven and let them set on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack to finish the cooling process.

Combine the ingredients for the glaze. You may find you need a little more powdered sugar depending on how thick you want the glaze. If the glaze is too thick add a little more lemon juice until you get the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over completely cooled cookies and let the glaze harden. Store cookies in an air tight container or freeze them.

Glazed Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake…

I needed something quick and easy that would use the blueberries I recently purchased. How about a coffee cake? I looked through various recipes in search of what I could adapt and found one that used ingredients I already had in the house. As with most baking recipes, I had to adapt the ingredients for high altitude (and I will include that in the recipe) but I also decided to add a cinnamon streusel topping to the coffee cake, and I can tell you that was the best accompaniment to the recipe. This coffee cake takes no time to put together and judging by how it was devoured when I took it to work, it’s a great way to have something homemade, sweet and delicious without a lot of fuss.

Here are my lessons learned when making this:

The correct consistency of the batter...

The correct consistency of the batter…

Lesson Learned 1 – Don’t be afraid to trust your gut: As I mentioned earlier, I adapted this from a recipe I found in a Taste Of Home magazine. I new I would have to adapt the recipe for high altitude, but I also think there may have been a misprint in the recipe as it did not, in my estimation, include enough milk. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of milk. When I added that, along with the butter and egg mixture, the batter was still very dry and even slightly powdery. I knew that wasn’t right. So I began adding more milk and testing the consistency of the batter. I suggest at sea level you start with 3/4 cup of milk and check the consistency of the batter. You can always add a little more but you can’t take it away.

Because I added 4 additional tablespoons of flour (2 for each cup, a standard high altitude adjustment) I knew I might have to add a little more milk. As it was I had to double the amount of milk (I used 1 cup) and that shouldn’t be the case. So I am writing the recipe with the suggestion of using 3/4 – 1 cup of milk. As you can see the cake turned out beautifully, but would not have if I didn’t make the adjustment and trust my gut. So don’t be afraid to adjust the milk if you think the batter doesn’t look right.

IMG_5071

The butter, sugar and egg mixture…

Lesson Learned 2 – The egg, milk and butter mixture will look lumpy, and that’s ok: I am including a picture of what the egg, milk and butter mixture looks like before you add it to the dry ingredients. It looks lumpy and that’s the butter. Don’t let that bother you. It is supposed to look that way. If you don’t want to drag out your hand mixer, you can actually combine all of these ingredients at one time by hand using a whisk, which is what I did. Just make sure the butter is at room temperature before you combine all of them. It won’t work if the butter is not soft. If you choose to use a hand mixer, beat the butter and egg together first and then add the milk. Either process will work.

The consistency of the streusel

The consistency of the streusel…

Lesson Learned 3 – Making a streusel: I’ve always struggled with making a streusel. Most recipes say to either use a pastry cutter and cut the cold butter into the flour, or use two knives and do the same thing. I’ve never mastered it with knives and it seemed that every time I used the pastry cutter the butter would just stick to the blades. What I learned this time is, with patience, (what a concept) the pastry cutter actually works. The first few times I had to scrape the butter off the blades, but after a short while the butter became more incorporated into the flour and soon I was cutting the butter into the flour and got the desired pea-sized consistency necessary for a good streusel. So be patient. It actually works.

If you want something sweet that is quick and easy to make this is the recipe for you. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups flour (plus 4 Tbs. for high altitude)

3/4 cup sugar (2/3 cup for high altitude)

2 Tbs. baking powder (1 Tbs. for high altitude)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 extra large or jumbo egg, room temperature

3/4 – 1 cup milk (start with smaller amount and add more if needed)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen add to batter frozen)

2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Vegetable shortening to grease the pan

1/2 tsp. flour for dusting the blueberries (if using fresh blueberries)

CINNAMON STREUSEL TOPPING:

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan with shortening. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Slowly add small portions of additional milk to the batter if the the consistency of the batter appears too dry.

Dust the fresh blueberries with a small amount of flour and stir until the berries are slightly coated. Fold the blueberries and pecans into the batter. Spread batter into the prepared pan.

For the streusel, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Cube the cold butter and cut it into the flour/sugar mixture until the mixture reaches a pea-sized consistency. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least one half hour. Cut and serve.

Coming out of the oven...

Coming out of the oven…

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake...

Blueberry Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake…

Servings suggestion: With a dollop of whipped cream dusted with cinnamon sugar...

Servings suggestion: With a dollop of whipped cream dusted with cinnamon sugar…