Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I like to think I have some self-control when it comes to desserts.

As in, I don’t typically pig out on what I bake. I’m more of a taste-as-I-go kind of gal, sampling my way through the making and baking process, and taking a bite (or, three) of the final goodie before sharing with whoever wants some. If I’m not baking, then I’m what’s called a dessert nibbler-yes, I did just make that up. I prefer to nibble on all available dessert options rather than commit to eating a single sweet. I’m just not ready to settle down with just one dessert. I like to give everyone their fair chance to win over my heart.

Notice I said typically.

I’m going to openly admit, all self-control went out the window with this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And, when I say all, I mean every single little ounce of self-control, completely gone.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

For starters, I couldn’t stop eating the batter. Why? I have no idea. It tastes like fluffy vanilla-yellow-cake yumminess and I was all but, sticking my face in the bowl, to eat it. No joke. I even scolded myself to stop while baking. Who does that?

Crazy baking ladies, that’s who.

Did I tell you that I not only made Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake in a cake pan, but also Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake donuts baked in a mini donut pan?

Yup. No self-control.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

You see, I really really really wanted to make coffee cake donuts. So, I did. But, I got a little too excited while filling each donut well, and ended up with muffin top mini donuts that didn’t really come out of the pan in one piece.  I blame the moistness of the cake. Seriously, it’s so ridiculously moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the moistness scale. True Story.

So, I have a whole cake and a baker’s dozen of deliciously edible but, not super pretty Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake(s) in my kitchen.

Betcha wanna be my best friend now, huh?

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Want to hear how much I’ve pigged out? I’ve eaten four donuts (and counting). One before they had even cooled. Two before the cake had even finished baking. And my last one just because the cake looked so good, that I felt the need to eat another. Did I mention that was all in a matter of 30 or so minutes? Yeah, don’t judge me. I can’t help it. Really, I tried too. I offered some up to my mom, who like me, ate four donuts, and then simultaneously said we wouldn’t be sharing these with anyone, and that I was never allowed to make this coffee cake again.

And then we ate a slice of cake, because, well, what else do mothers and daughters do when they are faced with deliciousness? 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part is, once the donuts are gone, I have a whole damn cake left. That tastes just as good, if not better, than the donuts. Insert delighted school girl squeal. And, a happy dance, which I just did around the kitchen. See, crazy baking lady in the house. Don’t worry, I know you love my craziness. Because without it, you wouldn’t get this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And without this cake, your mornings will be the worst.

And when I say the worst, I mean worse than the worst.

Doesn’t that sound bad? Cause it is. And, you don’t want that. So, do me a solid and make this. Or, better yet, come visit me so I can make you your own share coffee cake with you.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
Pecan Topping
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 coarsely chopped pecan pieces

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee Cake
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all pecan topping ingredients–brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, flour, pecans–except the butter, until combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all cinnamon filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon filling, using a spatula to evenly spread. Top off with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the batter, pressing lightly for it to stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too much, cover the top with foil and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Let cake cool completely before serving.

 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Advertisements

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese IcingWe are officially 27 days into the New Year. Twenty-Seven Days. Geesh. It’s going quickly, isn’t it? I haven’t even wished you a Happy New Year. Or, posted anything yummy on my blog. Oops.

Let me tell you what I have done (or, what has happened to me) so far in 2014.

I have been sick. Roll-up-in-ball, never-leave-your-room-again, sick. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say it was the worst.
I started drinking something new at Starbucks (courtesy of the bestie). Iced Green Tea Latte with Soy milk. In one word I would describe it as amazingggg. It tastes like green tea ice cream or those green tea flavored mochis. You should really try it.
I have also been brutally attacked by allergies. Itchy eyes. Headache. Really, just the works. Lucky me, huh?
I started working. Well, volunteering. But still, it’s kind of like work. I’m volunteering at a psychiatric hospital, which I’m ridiculously excited about. I’m even starting to feel more excited than nervous about my future. Maybe this grown-up thing isn’t as scary as I thought.

Oh, I also self-appointed myself best auntie around town. You see, I recently became an aunt to two of the most beautiful little things ever. Meet Archer (the lighter one) and Meeka.
IMG_78711I don’t mean to brag or anything, but my niece and nephew are pretty stinkin adorable. Don’t ya think?

Let’s switch this up. What haven’t I done?

Simple. I haven’t started dieting or made losing weight a New Year’s resolution. Everyone I know wants to shed a few pounds and eat healthier. And, that’s great. Except, it’s really not. You see, when everyone diets, they don’t eat baked goods. And, when they don’t eat baked goods, I have no one to bake for. And, when I have no one to bake for I either eat it myself (not good) or don’t bake (also, not good). Do you see my problem?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing I’m all in for shedding a few pounds and eating healthy—I’m a huge fan of using cauliflower as a carb substitute these days—but, I believe in the concept of moderation. In my opinion, a little bit of dessert every once in a while isn’t going to kill you. You with me? My sister, Alana, (technically, my cousin, but who really pays attention to those technicalities) is one of those people who’s trying to eat healthier this year. And, I fully, one-hundred percent, support her. But, when she mentioned she was craving cinnamon rolls, I couldn’t help but get into the kitchen and start baking.

I’m calling these ‘healthy’ cinnamon rolls. Before you laugh and ask if that’s a joke, hear me out. Compared to normal cinnamon rolls these are smaller, less doughy, and not as sweet. Healthy, right? Okay, maybe not entirely, but definitely healthier than normal cinnamon rolls. One could even say these are cinnamon rolls in moderation. At least that’s what Alana and I are saying. Wanna join us?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing Let’s talk flavor profile. These Cinnamon Roll Twists are crunchy on the outside from the cinnamon-sugar filling that caramelizes onto the dough while baking, and soft, flaky, and bursting with cinnamon flavor on the inside. The twists are then drizzled with Cream Cheese Icing and sprinkled lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Have I mentioned how easy and quick they are to make? Because they totally are. Almost embarrassingly easy. But, hey, sometimes easy is good, really good.

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing
Yields: about 30 twists

Ingredients:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
¾ cup golden brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter
all-purpose flour for dusting

Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons milk (use as needed)

Directions:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on the package.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Mix until combined, and then set aside.
Dust your work surface generously with flour and lightly dust your rolling-pin.
Roll out puff pastry about 2 inches larger on each side—the dough will be thin—and cut crosswise into two rectangles.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and brush generously over one of the puff pastry rectangles—once you feel that piece is buttered up, lightly brush the remainder of the melted butter on the other rectangle.
Sprinkle about half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the buttered up puff pastry piece.
Cover the cinnamon-sugar coated piece with the remaining lightly buttered piece of puff pastry and gently roll them together with a rolling-pin.
Cut into long strips (I used a pizza cutter and it worked wonderfully!) and twist. Place on lined pan and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown—the thinner your strips are the less time they will need to cook.
Let cinnamon roll twists cool slightly before removing from pan, and then place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Repeat process with the second sheet of puff pastry—make sure to keep just a little bit of the cinnamon-sugar mixture to sprinkle on the twists once they are iced.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and combined.
Depending on your desired icing consistency, add a tablespoon of milk at a time—if you don’t want to add more milk and the icing still isn’t of drizzling consistency, warm up the icing in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
Once the cinnamon roll twists are iced, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.

 

Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites

Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut BitesPsst.

Hey you.

Yes, you my interweb friend.Do you know what today is?

It’s Christmas Eve. December 24th. Less than 24 hours before Christmas. Less than 24 hours people!When the heck did that happen?

This is going to sound weird, but I kind of don’t want Christmas to be tomorrow. And, no, I haven’t gone crazy. Okay, maybe a little. You see, it’s only around Christmas time that certain things I loveeee (yes, with a few extra e’s) happen. Like, houses decorated with a million sparkly lights; fireplaces adorned with fuzzy red stockings; Christmas trees standing prettily in living rooms; snowman wrapping paper; Gingerbread Coffee; Salted Caramel anything and everything. Why do these things have to be seasonal? Can’t they be year round? Anyone with me? Anyone? I’ve gone all crazy bummed-out on you, haven’t I? I’m sorry. Let’s get back to being excited.

Look. Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites. Now, that’s exciting.
Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut BitesI’m gonna tell you a secret. When I started baking these donut bites, I wanted them to be gingerbread donuts. I wanted them to be festive, and I wanted them to be in accordance with the season. I even used a gingerbread donut recipe…but as you can see by the title, these little baked bites don’t taste like gingerbread. Sure, they have that spicy warmth you get from gingerbread, but to me, they taste more like cinnamon brown sugar heaven. Hence the title.
Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut BitesThese donut bites are baked (can I get a woot woot for saving your and my fingers from getting oil burns?) in a mini muffin pan, making them the perfect bite size treat. The donut itself is soft and moist, and filled with all those yummy warm spices. It is covered in a brown sugar glaze that soaks right into the donut, and is then topped with a brown sugar crumb topping and a little extra cinnamon. I may have wanted these to be gingerbread donuts, but I can’t even complain about the outcome…they really are pretty darn tasty!

Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites
Recipe adapted from Mother Thyme
Yields: about 24 donut bites

Ingredients:
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 brown sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Glaze
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

Crumb Topping
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Directions:
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the wells of a mini muffin pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix until well-incorporated.
Add milk, sour cream, egg, and butter. Stir until combined.
Mix in maple syrup until just incorporated.
Spoon two teaspoons of batter into each well of a mini muffin pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Glaze
In a small bowl mix together brown sugar and water until combined.
Spoon glaze over each donut bite—make sure to cover the whole bite.
Set glazed donut bites on a piece of wax paper.

Crumb Topping
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and butter—using your fingers works best—until it’s of a crumbling consistency.
Generously sprinkle each donut bite with crumb topping before the glaze hardens, and then sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon.


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites kind of night :)

Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites