Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Breakfast for Your Valentine

Love can be sweet. It also has its tart moments. So what better way to celebrate a Valentine's breakfast than with a coffee cake that combines both those elements?

I first made this Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake for a PEO brunch. And while it's not totally guilt free, it is a recipe from Eating Well. Some fruit and a little whole wheat flour make it a little healthier choice than the normal coffee cake.

Its bright red topping would be perfect for your Valentine's Day breakfast table. I know my husband would be thrilled to see something other than cereal for breakfast. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake from Eating Well: October/November 2005

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled, finely chopped tart apple (such as Granny Smith), about 1 large
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice or apple juice

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tbsp. butter, slightly softened
3/4 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1 large egg
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

To prepare topping: Whisk brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a medium non-reactive saucepan until combined. Stir in cranberries, apple and juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-heat heat, stirring. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and the berries soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To prepare cake: Whisk flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, first on medium speed, then on medium high, until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until the mixture is light in color and well blended. Add egg and beat until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute longer. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture until just incorporated. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Spread the topping in an even layer over the batter; do not stir.

Bake the cake on the middle rack until the top is puffed in places and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. The fruit topping will still be moist. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let stand until cooled to warm, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides. Cut the cake into wedges to serve.

Serves 12. Nutrition per serving: 268 calories: 8 g fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 47 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 113 mg sodium, 114 mg potassium.

Tips and Notes: To make quick work of chopping cranberries, put whole berries in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped.

Randy would always vote for Blueberry Coffee Cake. When I made this for a recent PEO coffee, I doubled the recipe. I put about 1 1/2 recipes in a large tube pan and put the rest in a 9-inch square pan.

Or try Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Your Valentine will enjoy any of these special breakfast treats!

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