Whenever the word “brunch” is mentioned, this coffee cake drifts through the wide open space of my mind.
Yeah, right! I WISH my mind was a wide open space. To tell the truth, it’s crowded with ideas on what I’m going to create next in the OtherWorldly Kitchen. Spring is here. Finally! Rhubarb is shoving every other ingredient aside and screaming, “Me, Me.” Sweet Peas are leaping, twirling, and shouting, “But what about that amazing Chilled Sweet Pea Soup you said you would work up as soon as I hit the fresh market? You promised!” (Actually, I did actually complete this one sometime after this post.) You don’t even want to know what nonsense Basil is whispering. Something about ice cream.
Nevertheless, as I was saying, this coffeecake drifts through my very crowded mind whenever brunch is mentioned. That’s because it’s so delicious and so easy. It may also have something to do with the fact that people go gaga over it and beg me for the recipe.
I give it to them, of course, but always reluctantly, because after they see for themselves how easy it is to make, they may begin to question ALL of my seeming feats of culinary magic.
And they might give the recipe to 50 of their closest friends, which would mean that everyone (maybe even one of my family members) would bring this same coffeecake to the next family brunch. And then where would I be?
But I’m sure that YOU will keep this recipe strictly to yourself, right?
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter
3 ounces best quality cream cheese
½ cup milk
½ cup artisan raspberry preserves (or your favorite preserves)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk vigorously to distribute the baking powder and salt.
- With a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers, cut the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture.
- Quickly and gently blend in the milk.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead VERY LIGHTLY for 4-5 strokes.
NOTE This is the step at which you can ruin the coffeecake. If you overwork the dough, the pastry will be tough. Just gather the dough together and don’t worry about making it smooth. It will still look a little rough. That’s perfect.
- On waxed paper, roll the dough to an 8- by 12-inch rectangle.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and remove the waxed paper.
- Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds.
- Spread preserves down the middle third of the dough, keeping it about ½ inch from the mark on both sides.
- Make 2¾-inch slight diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each the long sides. Do not cut into the center jam-filled area.
- Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in a rotating fashion, over the filling. The coffeecake will now resemble a braid.
- Bake in a 425° oven for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the top is lightly browned.
- In a small glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the coffeecake.
- If desired, sprinkle on the toasted sliced almonds while the icing is still wet.
Makes one 8- by 12-inch coffee cake.
Copyright 2008 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.