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Stop by for a cup of coffee
by Darlene Montague
Aug 25, 2012 | 853 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The person who came up with the idea of a coffee break was a genius!

Having the luxury of stopping what you are doing, whether at home or at work, clearing your head, and just relaxing a bit with a cup of brew is just heavenly. It is even better if you can share that time with a friend or two.

Back in the day, when neighbors used to know each other, moms would take a break from the ironing or dusting, walk next door to the neighbor and sit down for a quick visit over a cup of coffee and maybe a bit of coffeecake just to catch up on the neighborhood “news.” Then it was back to finish the chores before the kids came home from school. But that brief, little connection with another person was good for one’s well-being and could help lighten a load of worries.

Now everyone is so busy running here and there with cell phones stuck to their ears, that this little luxury has pretty much fallen by the wayside. And an email or a text just does not connect you to a friend like a face to face conversation.

There are still a few small groups gathered at the Dairy Queen mornings and afternoons for a cup of coffee and bit of social interaction.Good for them! Everyone needs to slow down for a bit, take time to live in the moment, make that connection, and listen to, appreciate, and enjoy the ones you are with. Life is spinning by us too quickly!

So I challenge you to whip up one of these easy coffee cakes, put on a pot of coffee, and call a friend to drop by for a few minutes. It will add a bright spot to your day.

Blueberry

Breakfast Cake

Ingredients

½-cup butter, room temperature zest from 1 large lemon

¾-cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup frozen wild blueberries

¾-cup half ‘n half

1 to 2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or spray with Pam.

Cream butter with lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time, alternating with the half and half.

Quickly fold in the frozen blueberries.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan (it will be thick!). Sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness, returning to the oven for a couple of more minutes if not quite done. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving

Cook’s notes: I didn’t have any lemons so I used lime zest. I like using the wild blueberries, which are smaller, over the regular ones. Instead of using plain sugar on top of the cake, I like to use turbinado sugar as it has more flavor and crunch.)

Twinkle’s Peach Cream Kuchen

This recipe has more of an “old world” flavor as it comes from my internet friend in Germany.

Ingredients

2 cups sifted flour

¼-cup sugar

¼ -tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½-cup butter or margarine

1 28-oz. can peach slices, drained

½-cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 egg yolks

1 cup sour cream

½-tsp vanilla

Instructions

Combine the flour, ¼-cup sugar, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives (or just use your fingers) until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Transfer to a lightly greased 9x9 or 11x7 baking pan and press crumbs firmly against the bottom and up the sides a bit.

Arrange well drained peach slices evenly over the bottom.

Stir together the ½-cup of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over fruit.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla together. Spoon over the partially baked kuchen and then continue baking for 20 minutes or until custard is set. Serve at room temperature or thoroughly chilled.

Cook’s notes: I used 2 15-oz. cans of peaches. I bet this would be good with canned pears too. Next time I think I’ll chop the peaches into chunks and sprinkle a bit more cinnamon-sugar on top of the custard. I like it chilled better than room temperature.)

Buttery Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients

Cake

1 cup butter (no substitutes)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

¼-cup sour cream

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

½-tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Filling

2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 egg yolk

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Topping

¼-cup light brown sugar

½-cup flour

¼-cup butter, chilled

Instructions

Set oven to 350F with oven rack set to second-lowest position. Butter a 9x13 pan.

Cream butter with sugar, add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and beat until light and fluffy.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well (batter will be thick).

Spread more than half of the batter in the prepared pan.

In another bowl, beat together all the filling ingredients then carefully spread over the cake batter.

Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top of the cheese mixture and smooth out.

Mix the topping ingredients and rub together with your fingers until it is like fine crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake batter.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until the middle feels set and not jiggly.

Cook’s notes: I forgot to sift the flour and it turned out fine.

When I make a pot of coffee, I add a pinch of salt to the grounds to take away the bitterness and a pinch of cinnamon to add just a little “something”.

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