of brewing coffee wafts to the bedroom. There's also the slip-out-of-the-house guest who can be found on the porch swing enjoying the crisp morning air. Then there are those who linger in bed as long as possible, eyes barely open when they finally drift into the kitchen.
The varied times make it difficult to know when to serve breakfast, so I lazily opt to serve brunch. But those who are up and about are peckish, waiting for a nosh with their coffee or tea or juice. If I lived in near a bakery, like my protagonist Sophie Winston, I'd be sorely tempted to take an morning walk to fetch fresh pastries. Where I live, though, it would be a very, very long walk. So I usually bake something for my early risers. Of course, coffeecake is perfect for that purpose.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Gourmet's Sweets. I was quite curious about the topping since most of the streusel toppings I've made have contained substantially less flour. The topping is okay, but it doesn't stand up to the delicious banana-laden moist coffeecake underneath. Frankly, the next time I make this, I'm going to toss the walnuts into the batter, forgo the streusel altogether and simply drizzle the top with melted chocolate. Yum!
If you don't happen to have buttermilk around, just use milk and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to it.
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3-4 ripe mashed bananas (preferably ones that have black spots already)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Take the butter, cream cheese, and eggs out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Make the buttermilk if necessary.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Cut a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottom of a 10 inch by 10 inch baking pan. Butter and flour the pan and the paper.
4. Mix the ingredients for the streusel in a food processor. (If drizzling with chocolate, skip this step.)
5. Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time.
7. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork to blend. Slowly add to the butter and eggs, alternating with the buttermilk and bananas.
8. Add the vanilla.
9. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
10. Bake for 50 -55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Pour a cup of coffee or tea,
and relax with your guests until the rest of the crew wakes up!
Julie’s first book in The Manor House Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure (starred review in Publishers Weekly!), debuted June 1.
To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure, and you're eligible to win one of two $25 gift certificates from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!)
No receipts required. Just email Julie at JulieHyzy@gmail.com with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Put "CONTEST" in the subject header!)
And Julie's provided a few helpful links to get you started:
Independent Bookstore List: here