Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake

It's blueberry season, y'all.  Time to get your hands on some of those delicious berries!  I picked these berries up in Michigan at a Meijer store, and they were really good.  I'm hoping to get to a farmers' market soon to pick up some local blueberries.  I'm hoping I can still get strawberries, too.  It's been a crazy month and I'm ready to get settled in and do some baking.

I did manage to throw together this coffee cake, and wow was it good.  Incredibly easy, too!  I think what made it so delicious was I used buttermilk and a special Southern flour called, White Lily.  This was my first time baking with it and I can already tell a difference over regular flour.  The cake turned out so light and fluffy.  I'll have to research more on why White Lily makes baked goods lighter.  I think it might have to do with the type of wheat they use.  Have you used White Lily before?

The blueberry cake is topped with a buttery-brown sugar crumb topping.  This could be served as a coffee cake for breakfast, or a dessert.  If you serve it as a dessert, I recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake

2 cups all purpose flour + 1/3 cup, divided use
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided use
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8x8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together 6 tablespoons butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Beat in eggs until well combined.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until just combined.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spread batter into the bottom of prepared pan.

To make the topping, beat together remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined and crumbly.  Sprinkle crumble on top of cake batter.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.  A toothpick inserted into cake should come out with moist crumbs attached.

Makes 9 servings

Double Chocolate Chip White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Lately I've been thinking about how much I want to go back to Levain bakery.  It's been years and I'm really craving their chocolate chip walnut cookies.  Not only that - their oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and dark chocolate chip cookies, too.  They really do have the best cookies there.  I've never tried any of the breads they bake because I'm always so focused on the cookies.  Have you?  I wish we could all go together, each buy an item and then share.

And so these cookies were created yesterday from my cravings for a chocolate-y Levain cookie.  I was hoping to have these loaded up with white chocolate chunks, but my cookies were a little skimpy on the white chocolate.  I didn't have as much white chocolate in the pantry as I thought I did.

I was happy with how soft and fudgy these cookies turned out, and the crackles on top are pleasing to the eye as well.  I bet these would be really good with dark unsweetened cocoa powder.

Double Chocolate Chip White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 ounces white chocolate (or more), cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl, sift together flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, sugars and vanilla until a lumpy ball forms.  Beat in egg, one addition at a time, until well combined.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in dry ingredients until just combined.  Stir in white chocolate chunks and chocolate chips until just combined.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough out, roll into balls, and place on cookie sheets or plates (whatever will fit in your refrigerator).  Chill dough balls at least one hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place dough on cookie sheets, spacing an inch apart.  Bake for 15 minutes or until set and slightly crisp.  Cool 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 16 large cookies

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

Hello again.  It's been a while, hasn't it?  I guess that's the theme over the past year.  Well I'm still here and if you're still here it's a real miracle.  How have you been?  What's new?  Are you following the election?  Do you still read food blogs?  Or are you more of a snapchatter these days?

I'm doin' just fine.  As far as blogs, well I do still read a few but I've cut down a lot.  A lot!  When I can't scroll down to read the blog post because it's so bogged down with ads, that's a problem.  I removed my ad a few months ago.  I think it was a good decision.  I'm not so much into this to make money.  If so I really need to start posting more than once every three months.

Also, aren't food blogs sooo much better these days than when we all first started?  Food blogs now have amazing photography and videos and the sites themselves are so professional.  I'm not even going to try and compete!  I'll just occasionally bake a batch of cupcakes, take pictures with my old camera and post whenever I'm feeling creative.  That'll do just fine.

Let's see what have I been up to?  Flying, flying, flying, eating, snapchatting, riding bicycles, baking sometimes, eating, hiking, exploring, reading, traveling, pigging out.

Let's get to the cupcakes:

These are the PERFECT lemon cupcake.  They're perfectly fluffy and I hate the word moist, but they're perfectly moist.  This makes a batch of twelve cupcakes but if you need more the recipe doubles easily.  The buttercream is crazy good and uses crushed freeze dried strawberries.  Freeze dried fruit is amazing for baking because it adds a ton of flavor without too much moisture.  Trader Joes has a lot of freeze dried fruit options.

I've never been much of a decorator (I wish I was!) so I just covered the cupcakes with sprinkles.

Happy Spring!  Happy Easter!

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup warm milk

Strawberry Buttercream

1 1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large mixing bowl using a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in lemon zest, juice vanilla and egg yolks until well combined.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in dry ingredients, alternating with milk.

Divide batter into muffin pan.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until well risen and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Cool 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

To make the strawberry buttercream, process the strawberries in a food processor until finely pulverized.  Combine strawberry dust, butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Mix together using a mixer on medium speed until well combined and fluffy.  Frost cupcakes with buttercream and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Makes 12 cupcakes