my ticket to popularity

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I think I might have found the root of my love for baking: when I’m baking, I’m not cleaning. Cleaning has to be one of my least favorite activities. Ever. Seconded only by homework. Which also doesn’t happen while I’m baking. You know what does happen while I’m baking? Movies. I love movies. I can waste time bake and watch movies at the same time. And when I’m done baking, I’ll have something to show for it. Something everyone loves. In summary, baking is my ticket to movie-watching and popularity and gets me out of house chores and homework. I’d say that’s pretty much a win.

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Today I had both chores and homework on my to-do list so obviously a great portion of my day was spent in the kitchen. It’s summer which means berries are in season. I could spend hours in the produce section admiring all the colors. Anyway, I had a well-stocked pantry for pretty much the first (and probably only) time in my life including farm-fresh eggs. Success!

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Husband and I have a thing for breakfast. Not only are the foods our favorite but we love the quiet part of the day when the air smells fresh and we can enjoy a cup of coffee and a conversation or maybe a few pages of a book before the craziness starts. It is kind of our time to catch up. Since I had the time (and resources) this morning, coffee cake was on the menu! For husband, anyway, I just had coffee and berries, which were so delicious that I didn’t even feel like I was missing out.

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Husband said this is the best coffee cake he’s ever had. Which meant I didn’t stop smiling all day; I get so excited when he proclaims something the best. He loves all food but doesn’t liberally supply such high comments. I was about to put a little glaze on these but Husband said no, he preferred them the way they were. I’ll let you decide if you want to add more sugar or not.

Things are easier for us to deal with in muffin form so I baked individual-sized coffee cakes in my giant muffin pan, but this would be a great traditional option as well.

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the more the berrier coffee cake

makes 8 large muffins or one 9-inch cake

1/2 C butter, softened
1 C pure cane white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C heavy cream
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C potato (or corn) starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
fresh berries, approx 2 C total. I used handfuls of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The more the merrier!
1 tsp orange zest (optional – Husband just loves the flavor)

topping:
4 tsp cold butter
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C pure cane white sugar
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
4. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, starch, baking powder, and salt.
5. Gently add flour mixture and cream to batter, alternating between each.
6. Fold in berries and orange zest.
7. Pour batter into lined muffin tin or 9-inch cake pan. If using the cake pan, make sure to grease well.
8. Combine topping ingredients in small bowl and cut in butter. Top batter liberally with mixture.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Unless you hit a berry. Then it will be blue.
10. Take a few moments to enjoy your morning and have a little a chat with your favorite breakfast buddy.

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I love comments. Did you also threaten to burn down your kitchen? Do you know how to get dogs (or ducks) to stop digging holes? Please tell me about it.

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