Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stocking the Freezer

Many of you know that our daughter and son-in-law are currently in Arizona where he's recovering from injuries he received when the front wheel came off his racing bicycle and he took a bad (understatement) fall.

I've been thinking that having their freezer stocked with some prepared foods would come in handy when they return home.

I'll make some hearty soups, breads, etc. as mainstays but thought a little sweet treat now and then would also be appreciated. So today I baked Berry Patch Coffee Cake which I know they both like a lot.

The original recipe calls for the batter to be baked in a 9 x 13" pan but I always use two 8 x 8" square pans. (I like to use these aluminum pans because I frequently give one coffee cake as a gift and then I don't have to worry about getting the pan back.) You can see by the above picture that the two smaller square pans combined are bigger than the one 9 x 13" pan, but I always do it this way and it comes out fine.

The batter will be stiff so you have to work a little bit to get it spread out evenly.

I don't pay too much attention to the specific amount of jam called for (one cup) in the recipe. I just take a table teaspoon and drop nine blobs of jam over the batter, kind of evenly spaced.

The cake on the left is the way I package it for the freezer. When I take it out of the freezer, I drizzle on a simple powdered sugar frosting. Or if I'm going to use the cake right away, I frost it as soon as it's cooled as I did with the one on the right.

(Blogger is being especially balky about printing anything out in recipe format - it's something still whacko with my computer, I think - so I'll try writing this one this way.)


1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 cup jam (any flavor).

Combine softened cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Spread into two greased and floured 8 x 8" pans (or one 9 x 13" pan). Dot with jam and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting when cool. Freezes well.

I remember when I first asked my son-in-law what his favorite kind of jam was and he replied, "Red." So today I made these coffee cakes for him with some of my raspberry jam. I've yet to find any flavor jam that doesn't taste good in this recipe so don't hesitate to use what you have if you want to give it a try.


Marty said...

OK, how do you make the powdered sugar frosting???

Mama Pea said...

Dear Fudd - If you want to make the frosting 'by the book', here's the recipe:

1-1/2 T butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla or almond extract
1-2 T milk

Mix first 3 ingredients together and then add enough milk to get 'drizzling' consistency. Should be plenty for the 2 coffee cakes.

What I do 95% of the time:

3/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 t (I prefer) almond extract

Mix the sugar and extract. Slowly add just enough milk to make right consistency. If it's too thin, just add more powdered sugar. Too thick, add more milk.

The first 'real' recipe makes a nice frosting (if you double all amounts - for 8 x 8" cake) and add only enough milk to make a spreading consistency (thicker than for the drizzle).

My 'quick and dirty' drizzle recipe wouldn't have the body or as nice a flavor for a real frosting.

Melissa said...

You're a good Mama and Mama IL! So sweet of you to do this for them. I know they will appreciate it so much.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Melissa! There be a method to my madness . . . my own freezer is looking pretty bare at the moment . . . something that makes me nervous. So if I make a big pot of soup, couple loaves of bread, batch of cookies, etc., part of it will go in our freezer, too! Sneaky way of making myself restock our own freezer while helping them out! Plus, I love to cook so it's all fun.