Showing posts with label Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Comfort Food from Cleo Coyle: Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Apple Snack Cake

Fall means comfort foods! As my readers know, I enjoy making healthier dishes, but I also relish those foods that feed the souland so does my coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi. In Decaffeinated Corpse, Clare warms up a chilly October morning with a fresh batch of Cappuccino Muffins, decadent little sour cream cakes made with cocoa, chocolate chips, and crowned, like her Village Blend cappuccinos, with sweet, frothy tops. Before the mystery's climax at the famous Greenwich Village Halloween parade, Clare stirs up a recipe for Carne Con Café, a hearty beef stew based on a traditional Mayan dish and laced with the earthy flavor of coffee. (The credit for that one goes to Clare's business partner, the globe-trotting coffee buyer Matteo Allegro.) Because both of those recipes are available in the recipe section of Decaffeinated Corpse, I’m sharing one today that’s more economical but just as comforting. It's my version of the classic...

Cleo Coyle, who has no fear
of frying, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Fried Chicken

Tender and sweet from its buttermilk bath, crispy and crunchy from its dip in hot oil, it's the perfect fall comfort food...

Fried chicken seems a simple enough dish. What’s the big deal, right? You flour chicken pieces and fry them. But if you’ve ever tried to make it, then you know plenty can go wrong (at least it has for me).

This recipe never fails me. My first secret is using chicken wings exclusively. Cutting up the chicken wings and discarding the tips* will yield 24 pieces of fried chicken out of just 12 wings—an economical and tasty meat course for 4 people that’s filling and satisfying. Unlike bigger pieces of chicken—which often end up burning on the outside before cooking properly all the way through—chicken wings fry perfectly in about 8 to 10 minutes. These smaller pieces require less oil, too.

The buttermilk bath is the second key to a successful batch of fried chicken. The acid in the buttermilk is an excellent marinade for the meat, softening and sweetening the chicken before it even touches the oil.

*RECIPE NOTE: The chicken wing tips in this recipe don’t have to be discarded. I boil them in water with celery, carrots, onions and spices and make a delicious chicken stock. Waste not! 

My advice: Buy a quart of buttermilk, reserve 1/2 cup for my Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake recipe and use the rest to make my fried chicken...

 Download a PDF of my Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake recipe by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle’s 
Buttermilk Fried Chicken

To download an illustrated PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Serves: This recipe calls for 3 pounds of wings, which is about 12 wings or 24 pieces after wings are cut up.


3 pounds fresh chicken wings

1 quart regular or light buttermilk

      (Reserve 1/2 cup for my Buttermilk-Apple Snack Cake recipe!)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons McCormick “Original Chicken Seasoning” blend
(Or your favorite chicken spice blend)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly-ground pepper, ground very fine
2 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)
Canola oil for frying

Step 1: Cut the wings into three pieces, discarding all wing tips (or you can boil the tips with carrots, celery, onion and spices to make chicken broth). Place cut up chicken in a plastic or glass container. Pour buttermilk over the chicken wing pieces and marinate in refrigerator for up to 3 hours (no more).

Step 2: Mix the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, chicken spice, and cayenne pepper thoroughly in a paper or plastic bag.

Step 3: Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk and discard excess liquid. Shake off loose buttermilk (do not rinse). Drop wing pieces into the bag 2 or 3 pieces at a time. Shake well until each piece is evenly coated.

Step 4: Heat canola oil in a pan or pot deep enough to allow wing pieces to be submerged in oil (at least 2 inches deep). Shake excess flour off your chicken wing pieces and slowly place, one piece at a time, into hot oil. (Note: You know the oil is hot enough for frying when a dough ball made from a bit of buttermilk and flour sizzles when dropped into the pot). Make sure your pan is not too crowded; otherwise, oil’s temperature will drop too fast, and you’ll end up with greasy chicken.

Step 5: Fry each batch for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally until chicken is golden brown & cooked evenly. (Watch oil temperature: This takes patience and practice. Keeping the oil hot enough is the key to good frying. Adding wings will reduce the oil’s temp., but turning heat too high will burn them.) I place my finished fried chicken pieces on a metal rack over an old cookie sheet pan to catch excess grease. Put rack in a 220° F. oven to dry chicken out and keep warm until all pieces are fried, and. . . 

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, sign up to win
free coffee, 
or learn more about the 2 bestselling
series that I write with my
husband, visit my online coffeehouse at...

"A Favorite Book of the Year"
Reviewer's pick 2010 ~ 

For a peek at some of the firehouse-inspired recipes featured in Roast Mortem, click here.

Now a national bestseller
in paperback

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here.


"...a tasty tale of crime and punishment,
lightened by the Blend's frothy cast of
lovable eccentrics." ~ Publishers Weekly

For a peek at some of the chocolate 
recipes featured in Murder by Mocha,
click here

Now a national bestseller
in hardcover 

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here

Audiobook produced by AudioGo (BBC Audiobooks America) Available at iTunes and

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake for a Sweet New Year!

Congrats to our final gift card winner! Molly Ebert of Indiana won our last $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card. Stay tuned for more of our contests coming up in the near future...


On the Gregorian calendar, the New Year will be celebrated on January 1. On the Chinese calendar, the date for turning over a new leaf will be February 14. And on the Jewish calendar, the New Year (5770) is ushered in this very evening!

Rosh Hashanah literally means “first of the year” in Hebrew and it commemorates the creation of man—within the larger Biblical story of the creation of the world. It also begins the High Holy Days, a ten day period that culminates in the somber observance of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.

In synagogues across the world, the Jewish New Year is celebrated with many traditions, one of which is the blowing of the ram’s horn. The “shofar” is the name for this horn, and it’s blown like a trumpet to symbolically awaken the listeners from their slumbers and alert them to the coming judgment of God. In general, this is a time of year to reflect on the year you’ve had--especially mistakes and missteps—and contemplate how to do better in the year ahead.

Rosh Hashanah is a holiday rich in meaning and tradition. As with all holidays, food plays an important role. Apples are commonly eaten (dipped in honey – yum!) to symbolize a wish for a sweet year ahead. Honey cake is also a favorite.

Even though my Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake is not Kosher, I thought I’d share it with you today because of Rosh Hashanah’s apple tradition.

I love this cake because it’s easy to make and also very light, tender and buttery, with a delicate flavor of apple and the rich, bright note of buttermilk.

While it's a delish snack cake to eat any time year (and goes very well with a freshly brewed pot of joe), I think it’s especially comforting to slide into the oven on a fall afternoon when there’s that crisp chill in the air, the sun begins to set a little earlier than you're used to, and you’ve just come in from raking leaves, a long walk in the park, or picking those newly ripened apples...

To get my recipe for
Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake,

The recipe will appear in PDF format.
You can print it out or save it to your computer.

For more of my recipes or to find out more
about the books in my culinary mystery series,
click this link to my virtual home at

Finally, if you’d like a truly Kosher recipe for an apple cake, click here. The ladies who created this recipe know their stuff. They managed a catering company in Columbus, Ohio, for over twenty years.

In closing, a common greeting at this time is “Shana Tova” for a good year or “Shana Tova Umetukah” for a good and sweet new year. So...

Shana Tova Umetukah

~Cleo Coyle
author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."