I kicked off the week with a massive chicken cooking date with Liz: we lightly fried and grilled chicken tenders and threw in a batch of quick split pea soup. I continued in full force with Suzy and our every Tuesday plan with an incredible homemade tomato sauce and delectable veal parmesan dinner and then ended with Kathe and I baking to our heart’s content. And let me tell you, there’s nothing more enjoyable than hanging out with a good friend, baking scrumptious treats and taking in the sweet scent of homemade baked goods.
Kathe had wanted to make turkey meatballs with me, but I steered her away from her mission, promising to schedule meatballs for next time. It’s not that I didn’t want to make her turkey meatballs I simply wanted to eat through the food I had already made. Plus, my cookie jar was empty and I had to bake for the kids, especially since I am trying not to buy processed cookies anymore. Can’t disappoint those hard working kids!
But what would we bake? That was the simple question of the day.
Not wanting to go to the grocery store again, I opened up my cabinets to see what I had on hand. (I find that even a “quick run” to the store can result in as much as $100 worth of groceries.) So I’ve been trying to limit myself to one shop a week. As I was pulling out butterscotch and chocolate chips, a bag of leftover self-rising Aunt Jemima Flour caught my eye. Inspiration comes in random ways and for me, it often comes from the back of a bag. This time it was a scrumptious sounding recipe for Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake — perfect since I had the first apples from my CSA fruit share.
I threw all of my ingredients into a tote bag and headed to Kathe’s house for a cooking date, which ended up being an ideal example of how best “cooking with friends” works. You see, I was all out of eggs. Darn it! If I had been home alone, resisting the urge to go to the store, I couldn’t have baked a single thing. But since I had just gone to Costco, I had a lot of butter. Kathe, who had just bought several dozen eggs was happy to share with me and to make things even, we used my butter. It wasn’t like it was a spoken agreement, it just happened that way, an easy and fair sharing of ingredients.
Kathe and I always have funny moments while cooking and this time, it was at the end, when we were deciding if our coffee cakes were done. I touched the center lightly with the tip of my finger and thought they needed a few more minutes. Then Kathe (who thought they must be done) jabbed a fork in the middle of mine which caused a big sink hole. “Why did you have to test that on my cake?” I prodded in a jesting sort of way. I guess she felt badly so she shoved a fork into hers, which caused her cake to sink as well and both cakes got shoved back into the oven. We both chuckled.
I highly recommend this delicious coffee cake, courtesy of Aunt Jemima. The only thing I did differently was add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. We doubled the recipe and it worked just fine. Enjoy!
Aunt Jemima Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake
Makes 1 – inch square cake
½ cup sugar
½ cup Aunt Jemima Self-Rising Flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 cups Aunt Jemima Self-Rising flour
1 cup milk
2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
For cinnamon topping, combine dry ingredients. Add butter and mix until crumbly. For cake, beat together butter and sugar until creamy; blend in egg. Add flour alternatively with milk, mixing well after each addition. Spread half the batter into greased 9-inch square pan. Top with half of apple slices and with half of cinnamon topping. Repeat with remaining batter, apples and topping. Bake in a pre-heated oven (375) 45-50 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm.