Sunday, October 28, 2012
My friends at Beth Cook Publicity sent me a complimentary copy of Petite Treats by MORGAN GREENSETH and CHRISTY BEAVER. The whole idea of "guilt free" mini treats (they're guilt free right?) really peaked my interest. I was particularly curious about making individual serving coffee cakes. My introduction was with a recipe of Vanilla Cranberry Coffee Cake and I'm thinking of the Hazelnut Fig Coffee Cake. Maybe I'll just get fancier and bake the Strawberry Cream Eclairs. The point is that the recipes are easy to follow and quick to put together. If you have a large group for dinner, creating several choices is not a lot of work.
Pot lucks coming up for the holiday season? Kids lunches with a special mini treat? Hostess gifts? There are so many possibilities.
CRANBERRY-VANILLA COFFEE CAKE
Get your morning off to a delicious start. MAKES 12
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1¾ cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon allpurpose
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted
butter, at room temperature, divided
2 large eggs
½ cup heavy whipping cream
powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a standard 12-well muffin pan with paper
** I cheated a little here and used the larger muffin tins. Baking time was 25 minutes.
2. Scrape the vanilla bean into a food processor fitted with a blade. Discard the
3. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Transfer all but ¼ cup to a
4. Add the cranberries to the food processor. Pulse briefly until the cranberries
are coarsely chopped but not pureed.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together 2 cups of the flour and the baking powder
6. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, combine ¼ cup of the butter and ½ cup
of the vanilla-sugar mixture. Beat on medium until
pale and fluffy.
7. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing fully after
each one and scraping down the bowl as needed.
8. Reduce the speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then half the whipping
cream, then the remaining flour, then the remaining whipping cream, scraping
down the bowl as needed.
9. Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner halfway full. Place a
dollop of cranberry sugar on top of the batter, avoiding the edges. Top with the
remaining batter, filling each liner three-quarters full.
10. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour to the
remaining vanilla sugar. Blend with your hands until combined. Sprinkle over
the top of each cake.
11. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center returns with no crumbs. The
toothpick may return with cranberries on it, and that’s OK.
12. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack
to cool completely. Use a fine-mesh sieve to dust with powdered sugar before
13. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Verdict: What a delicious mini cake this was and just enough to make me happy. The crumb of the cake is light and the topping divine.