Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Eggnog Cranberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first post of 2012… probably should’ve been posted in 2011, but I got a little excited in the kitchen, and a little lazy on the blog, so I’m still working through holiday posts. Not to fear – there are only a few left, and I have so many fun and exciting ideas for the new year! In the meantime, this recipe would be great for using up any leftover eggnog you’ve still got lying around from the holidays. It’s not heavy on the eggnog flavor, but is still extremely flavorful.On a shopping trip to Whole Foods a day or two before Christmas, they were sampling eggnog. Not the light kind, which I allow myself to indulge in around the holidays, but the full fat, full flavor, nutmeg-y and extra creamy kind that I always try to avoid. It’s so decadent and so delicious, but also so not good for you… except we were all feeling festive so a carton of it made it’s way into our cart. Oops? When I was deciding what to make for Christmas day brunch, I decided I’d use the eggnong for baking – somehow it made me feel better to consume it as part of a cake than gulping it from a glass. Maybe silly logic, but it still worked out really well. What I found was that the eggnog lent a tremendous amount of moisture to the cake, as well as added some lovely yet subtle spice notes.

I added the cranberries in for a bit of texture, but also for their tart flavor, as I anticipated the coffee cake may be too sweet. Fortunately, it wasn’t too sweet at all, however I still enjoyed the bright, fresh flavor they added. The crumb topping is a wonderful accompaniment, and though I forgot to include the eggnog sauce that was included in the original recipe, I think this coffee cake was perfectly balanced. It went wonderfully with Christmas morning bloody mary’s and coffee, and worked pretty darn well as a snack the next day too.

Eggnog Breakfast Crumble Crunch Cake
adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + an extra 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar + and extra 1/3 cup
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup eggnog

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

1) In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside. In another small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, then whisk to combine.

2) In a large bowl, whisk add butter and sugars until incorporated and smooth Whisk in eggs one a time, mixing until completely combined after each, then stir in vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing until a batter forms, then whisk in eggnog until smooth. Fold in cranberries (if using).

3) Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish, then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over top. Cover with remaining batter, gently using a spatula to spread over sugar if needed. Don’t worry if some of the sugar peeks through. Top with the crumble below, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is set in the middle and golden brown all over. Let cool in pan completely.

Crumble Topping
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the prepared batter.

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