Farm Journal Cookbook Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

   Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

   The tattered, well-used original recipe

The tattered, well-used original recipe

Farm Journal's Country Fair Cookbook (circa 1975) is the source of this recipe.  You can see by the tattered and spattered cookbook page that is was beloved!  The cookbook was a gift from my mother (between us we have most the cookbooks published by Farm Journal Magazine!), and this was one of the first recipes I tried.  It has been passed to nearly all of my children, and my oldest son Matt called to get the recipe right after his wife and newborn son came home from the hospital.  He wasn't a baker, but he made this for Lainie and it turned out perfectly!  This coffee cake appears at any breakfast or brunch family gathering.  It is easy to make and I am convinced you will love it, too!

Coffee Cake:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter (10.7 ounces) at room temperature (original recipe calls for margarine)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

2 eggs

 1 cup buttermilk

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans- I use pecans)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Grease a 13 X 9-inch pan well with butter.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, and then grease the paper well.

Place all of the dry ingredients in a bow and whisk together until well combined.

Cream together butter and sugars in a mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat until all of the dry and wet ingredients have been added.  Mix just until there are no streaks of flour or milk and the batter and everything is well combined.  Do not over-mix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth evenly.

Combine all of the topping ingredients well and sprinkle evenly over the cake in the pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350-degrees.  Bake for 45 minutes, rotating pan half-way through, or until done.  Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Serves 12-16

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Buttery Salted Caramel Bars

Buttery Salted Caramel Bars

Okay, so these cookies were also referred to as "crack" and "heroin" (seriously) cookies by our customers.  They are so good, and definitely addictive.  The original recipe called for purchased caramel candies (50 of them-who wants to unwrap all of those?), so I use homemade caramel, which is definitely better!  Make these just once; I doubt it will be the last time!

1 pound salted butter, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

4 cups all-purpose flour

12 ounces Caramel Candy

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 325-degrees.

Spray a 13X9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.  Line with parchment paper (one piece running each direction with at least 2-inch overhangs on each end to enable lifting the bars out of the pan).  Spray the parchment with non-stick spray, as well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter and sugars until well-blended.  Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add the flour in two additions on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.

Press half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust.  (Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator to chill while baking the crust.)  Bake the crust until light golden brown and firm, about 20 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  

While the crust is cooling and the remaining dough is chilling, prepare the caramel:  Place the caramel pieces in a microwave-proof bowl.  Add the cream and vanilla, and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.  If the caramel is not completely melted, microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring after each addition until smooth.

Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the caramel.  Take the chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.  Return to the oven and bake until the caramel is bubbling in the center and the top is firm and it is a light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Cool completely before lifting from the pan and cutting into 48 bars. 

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