Here are two more things I served at yesterday's brunch. These, plus the strata, lots of cut-up fresh fruit, bagels, coffee, and juice—everyone had plenty to eat! First, another success story from Abby Dodge's The Weekend Baker:
1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling at the end
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375° (I used 350° convection). Spray 24 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
In bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the ⅔ cup sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and beat just until blended. Pour in the flour mixture and stir gently, just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter into the greased muffin cups, dividing evenly. They should be very full. Gently tap the pans on the countertop to settle the contents. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar.
Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer the muffin pans to a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and set then on the rack to cool.
Easy, huh? And really yummy. The sugar sprinkled on top at the end adds a nice touch.
Next up is an absolutely scrumptious coffee cake from Nina Simonds. There was a bad error in the recipe, however. It calls for either a Bundt pan or a springform pan, which should have sent up a red flag right away, because the former gets inverted, whereas the latter gets served as is. The ingredients are added in the order you would want them for a springform, but because I used a Bundt (I prefer that shape for a coffee cake), my cake ended up upside-down! That is, I put in some batter, then some streusel, then more batter, then more streusel. Then, when I inverted it, the top of the cake was naked and all that lovely streusel was on the bottom. I realized the problem while I was assembling it, but by then it was too late. I sort of rescued it by drizzling a simple confectioners' sugar and milk glaze on top after it cooled, but it just wasn't right. That being said, however, this was one of the most delicious, moist coffee cakes I've ever made. I will definitely make it again, but next time I will reverse the order of the layers. I've presented the recipe here as it should be:
Cinnamon Streusel Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the streusel topping:
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (or plain whole-milk yogurt)
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup whole milk
Fruit filling (optional):
1¼ cups blueberries or apple slices (I used blueberries.)
1. Preheat oven to 350° (I used 325° convection.). Spray a 9" Bundt pan with cooking spray.
2. Make the streusel topping: Combine the brown and white sugars, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a knife or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
3. Make the batter: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat lightly for another minute. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and milk and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and beat until combined.
4. Put a little less than half of the streusel in the bottom of the greased Bundt pan. Pour a little less than half of the batter on top of the streusel and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining streusel on top of the batter. Add the optional fruit. Cover with the remaining batter.
5. Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for about 45–50 minutes, until a cake tester or a knife comes out clean. Set on a rack and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature.