Even though it doesn't feel like December in New Jersey (it will approach 67 degrees on Christmas Day here!), and even though we are heading South to spend Christmas in the hot Mexican sun, I still had to bake! It's like a sickness (but in a good way).
For a special birthday dinner this weekend, I made Maida Heatter's fabulous Budapest Coffee Cake. This cake contains everything that a good coffee cake should: raisins, cinnamon, walnuts, brown sugar, cocoa, and sour cream to help keep it moist. Layering the batter alternately with the filling, assures delicious mouthfuls of streusel with every bite. And it makes a big bundt, so there'll be plenty to give your guests little "to go" packages (and enough for you to snack on the next day).
Truth be told, I had forgotten about this gem of a cake. During "I Love Cheesecake's" peak, we made this all the time as part of our offerings. I found it again while doing a search for sour cream coffee cakes on Food52. When I saw it, I knew I just had to make it, especially because it's a favorite of the birthday girl. If you're into coffee cake, make this beauty.
This morning, when for some dang reason, I couldn't sleep past 4am (!), I started rooting around for something to bake (what's that saying about idle hands?). Leafing through my Evernote recipe collection, I found a little cookie saved recently that sounded wonderful. And I also happened to have everything in the pantry (very important at 4 in the morning).
So straight from my early morning kitchen, I give you Cinnamon and Rye Shortbread. These were also a Food52 find (BTW: if you aren't a Food52 reader, you really should check it out). I had purchased a bag of King Arthur rye flour awhile ago and was hankering to make good use of it (other than a bread type item).
Folks, these shortbread are fabulous! Sweet, salty, buttery, adorable little bites of deliciousness. They go together easily and quickly and would be a really nice addition to any holiday cookie plate.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and all good things for the New Year!
Eat well, stay warm, be happy!