A post about a pretty perfect birthday or breakfast coffeecake and a wonderful dream .....
Oh, what a lazy Monday . . . I slept late this morning and as I lay in that cozy semi-sleep of the morning dream state, I had the most vivid dream of watching my children sleep - all three of them. My children are all 'grown and flown', but in this dream they were all extremely little and ranging across the stages of toddlerhood.
Kate curled on her side, with her index finger loosely in her mouth and her favorite blanket gathered in a wad between her legs and at her tummy. Her blonde hair was sweaty and stuck to her cheek. Sara slept flat on her back with a blanket flung aside and her arms thrown up. She was completely relaxed, her golden fuzzy hair soft against her head, her green Oshkosh overalls were damp where her wet diaper drenched them. Eric lay flat out on his belly with his rump in the air, his fingers twitching like they were gripping at some toy, cheeks showing the crib sheet's crease and eyelids showing his frantic dreaming. The curls at the back of his neck were positively silken.
In my dream, I kept pacing back and forth from one room to another, watching them sleep ... and marveling at their beauty. It was such an intense dream that I made myself wake up and when I did I was smiling and almost crying.
Funny how intense motherly memories can be . . . Of course, I lay there for a few minutes and reflected on why such a dream would come to me at this particular time. I can only chalk it up to the number of birthdays that have cropped up during the week and having had Sprout Eric come for dinner and a late birthday celebration yesterday afternoon. My handsome thirty year old son is certainly no longer that cherubic child I dreamt of. He's a big strapping young man with an independent streak a mile wide - my diamond in the rough. He's not the type for a fancy iced birthday cake, so when I made him a birthday cake, I made him a lush coffeecake from a Taste of Home cookbook that he gifted me one Christmas. He was tickled that I'd used his gift to make him a small gift in exchange.
Some of that coffeecake went home with my boy last evening. I hope he's enjoying it with his morning breakfast before heading out to work. Happy Birthday, Eric!
Raspberry Streusel Coffeecake
Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
3-1/2 c. frozen raspberries (or fresh, if you have perfect berries)
1 c. water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1-1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. cold butter
1 c. sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
5 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. milk
Making the Cake:
1. Place the raspberries and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the sugar and bring the heat up under the pan.
2. Stir the cornstarch into the water and add it to the berries. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a gentle bubble.
3. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the sauce is thick and the berries are beginning to break apart.
4. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool while you make the cake batter and streusel mixture, stirring the sauce every couple minutes to move things around and aid in the cooling process.
5. Using a small bowl, mix the streusel ingredients until the butter is broken up and the flour and sugar are making clumps. Set aside.
6. Generously grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
7. Using a large deep bowl, make the batter. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
8. Add the cold butter in small lumps. Use two knifes to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles tiny beads.
9. Measure the sour cream into a large measuring cup. Add the eggs and mix together a bit.
10 Add the sour cream/egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Pour in the vanilla extract. Begin to incorporate into a VERY stiff batter.
11. Add the buttermilk in two or three additions, stirring up the flour from the bottom of the bowl and mixing it into the stiff batter.
12. Spread a bit over half the batter in the bottom of the greased baking pan. It's very stiff, so I used two spatulas to accomplish this.
13. Spoon the cooled raspberry sauce over top and right up to (but not touching) the sides of the pan.
14. Dollop the rest of the batter over the top of the raspberry sauce in small dollops. Try to cover most of the sauce, but leave tiny spaces for the streusel to sink into.
15. Spread the streusel over the top of the cake right up to the sides of the pan.
16. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is golden and crunchy-looking. A cake tester will come clean when the cake is poked.
17. Cool a bit before serving warm with a big glass of milk or a cup of tea or coffee.