I say I love things a lot. “Oh, I love that. I love this too.” Some may say I use the word too liberally. That, my friends, is untrue. I profess my love to things and but not people. Of course I love people. There are lots of people I love! I just don’t tell people that I love them. People will know I love them though, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. They’ll know they’re loved but not exactly told they’re loved. Does that make any sense? I hope I’m not wrong when I say I’m not alone in being unable to vocally profess my love to people.
Dogs on the other hand…Oh my gosh, let me pet a dog and in less than a minute I’ll probably be cooing in baby voice how much I love that pup. Food too. One bite of something amazing or a sip of something delectable and I’m (to quote a girl in last semester’s HST 338 class) ‘going ham on giving out that love.’ Four episodes of a television show I enjoy—the ‘L’ word is all over that sucker. A song that’s stuck in my head and catchy as no other? You guessed it. L-O-V-E.
For the past two weeks I have been in the bitter cold (polar vortex cold of -45° F with wind chill) in a state I love with people I love, doing things I love and eating things I love. Now that I’m a self-proclaimed food blogger, one of the greatest parts about being home was the kitchen. My Wisconsin kitchen is so much bigger than my Arizona kitchen. Counter space galore compared to my teeny-weenie kitchen. An amazing awesome oven that doesn’t turn off half way through cooking and a huge 5 burner stovetop. My mom made me do a lot of cooking, which I didn’t really mind at all since I love to cook. Mostly, she made me bake because she can’t. I love my parents, guys. There. I said it. My mom loves this coffee cake (SHE DOESN’T EVEN EAT SWEETS!). Make this, I may love you.
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1. Prepare the streusel topping. Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans in a bowl. Cut in butter with a potato masher, two butter knives or hands.
2. Prepare cake center swirl. In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon, brown sugar and pecans.
3. Prepare cake batter. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream.
6. Mix in the flour mixture by thirds, being careful not to overmix. The batter will be pretty thick.
7. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.
8. Press one half of cake batter into pan using wet fingers or an offset spatula.
9. Sprinkle center swirl mixture over batter. Top with second half of batter, again spreading with offset spatula or wet fingers.
10. Top with streusel mixture.
11. Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.