Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Baking Finale - Almost

I have been baking the Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake for about thirty years. The recipe was given to me so I don't know who created this exceptional cake, but it is everybody's favourite. The cake is delicious and it has a wonderfully decadent struesel topping. If you love chocolate, then this coffee cake will not disappoint.

All the cookies I have baked so far are the old standards that I’ve baked year after year, some older than others. I try each year to introduce a new recipe that I’ve never baked before. This year, as I was flipping through Martha Stewarts Cookies, which I recently purchased, the Rum Raisin Shortbread caught my eye. They are your typical shortbread, - butter, sugar and flour - and these are flavoured with orange rind and coconut and studded with currents which I like. Martha explains that currents, are tiny raisins made from the Zante grape that's why they are called Rum Raisin Shortbread. The currants are soaked overnight in rum, but I didn’t want to wait to make them the next day so I just let the currants soak for a few hours before preparing the dough. The dough is rolled into a log, wrapped and chilled for a couple of hours. The recipe says to bake at 325F for 20 minutes but they browned too quickly and the centers were still not cooked enough. I adjusted the temperature to 300F and baked for about 15 minutes, and they turned out just fine.

Finally, I made some Sugar Cookies that I really wanted to try from Rose's Christmas Cookies.

Again, these were very simple to make and after a two hour chilling period I rolled them out and cut them with Christmas cookie cutters. I dashed out to buy some meringue powder for the Royal Icing rather than use egg whites because then I would have yolks left over, which would mean I'd be looking for a recipe to use them up, (I feel wasteful throwing out yolks) and I really didn't feel like making more cookies. I was eager to decorate them and forgot how time consuming it was. Four dozen cookies may not seem like a lot, but when I was fiddling around with coloured icing and piping each cookie I started asking myself exactly what I was thinking going through this exercise? Would a dusting of sugar not have been easier? I just wanted to finish really quickly, so the decorating is just mediocre. I guess it doesn't matter, it's not like I will be selling these at my local bakery, but after I put them on a plate for a photo I thought they didn't look too bad.

Here is a tin filled with cookies ready to go to my parents home for Christmas.

Happy Holidays.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
2 s eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp. cocoa
¼ cup butter
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 350 F.

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture alternately with sour cream, mix on low speed only to combine. Add chocolate chips and mix until combined. Do not over mix as this toughens the cake.

Combine topping ingredients to form a crumbly mixture and sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.


Melinda said...

Your cake does sound delicious. I use some old recipes that just can't be beat. They are always fashionable!
One of my favourites is an orange poppy seed cake. My old faithful!

You sugar cookies are delightful. But your are right about them being a pain in the... elbow to do. And 4 dozen seems endless!

doughadear said...

I used to make a lemon poppy seed cake which was quite good, the kind you want to sit with a cup of tea and enjoy. I really should whip one up again. Your orange poppy seed cake sounds just as delicious.
Happy New Year!

SN said...

I love making shortbread-It's Ali's favourite. I make a great pecan shortbread however, I am still looking for a very good shortbread recipe. It would be good to have so that I can flavour the shortbread as I like. Every time I make shortbread, I try to change something so that I find the perfect recipe. Do you have a good shortbread recipe or any tips? I find that I over cook them because I'm afraid of undercooking them. I've been following Gaylea's recipe for now.

I would love for you to post lemon poppy seed cake! I love it!!

I am going to make biscotti soon, pistachio and cranberry. Next, I will try this coffee cake which does look delightful and then the bread! I cannot wait to try the bread recipe that you posted recently. Please keep this up, it's a great blog!!

doughadear said...

I usually don't make plain shortbread so I can't be of much help as far as suggesting a great recipe. I believe however that a good shortbread is baked at a low oven temperature.

I've been thinking about the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and hope to bake it soon. Stay tuned.

Let me know how your cake and bread turn out.

doughadear said...

I didn't know this was you!
Glad you dropped by.