It was Christmas of 1993 and I was a senior in high school. I'm sure there were all kinds of crazy things I wanted for Christmas, but it turns out my favorite gift was the one I didn't even know I wanted. I wouldn't have thought to ask for it, but my Mom bought me my very own red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. All the women in our family had that red and white checkered cookbook and I guess she figured it was about time for me to receive my own. Mom knew that I would like the gift but even she was surprised by how much I liked it.
I was so intrigued with the book that I immediately tore off the packaging, took out the dividers, and started putting it together. I guess my parents figured that after I put the book together I would set it down and open the rest of my presents, but I didn't. I asked to take a break from the presents and went into hiding with my cookbook. I wasn't satisfied until I looked through each and every page, all the pictures, and all the recipes. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.
The excitement of that day is one of the most vivid memories I have of my teenage years. I feel the same excitement each time I hold a new cookbook in my hands. I can feel my adrenaline start to race as I'm filled with a deep need to explore the pages of my new book. Each book is like a brand new adventure.
|Mom's Cookbook on the left; mine on the right.|
Biscoff Coffee Cake
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Home Cookbook
For the Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Biscoff Spread
3 tablespoons butter, cold
For the Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temp
For the Topping: In a bowl stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Cut in 1/4 cup Biscoff spread and 3 tablespoons cold butter. Use a fork or a pastry blender. Set aside.
For the Batter: In a bowl stir together 2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add milk, 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread, the eggs, and 1/4 cup butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat at high speeds for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
Pour batter into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan (I used a 12" round cake pan), spreading evenly. Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cool.
Variation: Prepare as above, except add 1/4 cup chocolate chips to topping and stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips into batter after beating.
Notes/Results: The inspiration for this recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens peanut butter coffee cake recipe. You could certainly use the peanut butter in place of the Biscoff spread and I'm sure it would be equally delicious. Alternatively, any other nut butter would work equally well and provide a unique twist from the standard peanut butter version. There are two things I love about this recipe. First, the Biscoff spread is in both the batter and the topping, so the flavor really comes through. Second, there is a great amount of crumb topping and let's face it...the crumb topping is always everyone's favorite part. I think this coffee cake is terrific served alongside sliced apples and/or coffee, tea, or hot/cold apple cider.
Biscoff Spread is a relatively new product made with Biscoff cookies. It can be used in place of peanut butter with terrific results and for this reason it is especially nice to have on hand for those who are allergic to nuts. It is a product of Belgium, but I found a jar in my local grocery store for ($4.99/14 ozs). I have a feeling that if it is available here in rural Kentucky it should be fairly easy to find. If not, it is available on Amazon.