Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grandma Jean's Coffee Cake

You'll thank me for this.

My Grandma Jean is a pretty fabulous cook, and she makes a lot of things that are legendary in our family. When my mom and Mikey first started dating, she won me over with her strawberry jelly. Then, when she cooked sausage and sauerkraut for the rest of my family, she made me macaroni and cheese (because there are several forms of torture I'd rather endure than eat sauerkraut). I had an ear infection once and she rubbed my back until I fell asleep. Ok, that last one didn't have anything to do with cooking, but it's just another reason I love her.

But don't be fooled. A really big reason that I love my grandma is this coffee cake. Write this recipe down and make it all the time for everyone you know. Perhaps people might love you too.

I must let you know that I doubled this recipe. I was making three coffee cakes, two for my parents to take to Florida (without me, mind you), and one for Andy and I, who got left alone all week long. Unless you are making coffee cake for a small army, make half this amount.

Gather these ingredients:

Eggs, vegetable oil, flour, sugar, brown sugar, milk, salt, pecans, cinnamon, baking powder, and butter or margarine or whatever. We're keeping it simple today.

I started with four whole eggs. (sooooo the regular recipe calls for two eggs. Get it?)

Mix in 3 cups sugar (this coffee cake is not for the faint of heart, my friends).

And 1 cup vegetable oil. On Grandma Jean's recipe it says "salad oil." Love.

Cream together all the ingredients until combined.

My mother thinks she's funny:

PS: GO BUCKEYES!!!!!! I love football season.

If you're doubling the recipe, use a really big bowl. This is mine:

I think, in my mom's divorce from my dad, she got the house, the car, me, and this bowl. It's enormous, and I'll tell you one thing: never in my memory of my life have I ever eaten popcorn out of this bowl. But it makes a great tool if you are doubling an already large recipe!

Here's an important step. Sift together 6 cups flour, 6 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt and add that mixture alternately with two cups milk. Or, you could be like me and forget the baking power and the salt completely, and then throw away three ruined coffee cakes.

Don't be like me. Pioneer Woman says that all the time, and I think you should heed this advice. Remember to sift, please. For Grandma Jean's sake.

Isn't sifted flour pretty?

Add some of the flour mixture...

And some of the milk...

Mix for a little while, then add some more flour stuff...

And some more milk...

You get the idea.

Beat the mixture well until it's all nice and combined.

Now make the brown sugar topping, aka the best part, aka the reason why you will dream about this coffee cake.

Start off with 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar.

That white stuff? It's excess flour because I used the same measuring cup without washing it. I confess. Don't judge me.

As it turns out, it wasn't that big of a flub, because you NEED flour in the topping. 8 tablespoons in fact. There's 8 teaspoons melted butter or margarine or whatever in there, too. And 2 cups pecans or walnuts or whatever nut you like. Just picture it in your mind.

I mixed a little bit before I realized I forgot my cinnamon! Don't you do it. Two teaspoons cinnamon.

Are you halving everything in this post? You should be! Unless you are feeding a church group or an enormous potluck or a small country. Then you can make double.

Annnnnywho. Here's some fun! In a 9 x 13 pan, or an 8 x 8 pan, or a disposable tin cake pan, or a combination of all three, add half the batter!

Gotcha, ma.

Add half the filling, and then marble the two together. There's not a picture because I didn't do that the first (or second) time around, and I deeply, deeply regret it.

Lies. But please, do marble.

Then, add the rest of the batter...

And the rest of the crumbly filling on top:

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cook just enough so that it doesn't scald you, and then eat. You'll love Grandma Jean too.

This coffee cake changes lives friends!