Hey, guess what? I’m in the April issue of Sunset magazine. They did an article on boutique cooking classes and I am in there! Cool, huh?
On the whole, mine is a family of savory eaters. No one turns up their nose at my sweets but everyone is happier with dinner than dessert. Each person, however, has their thing they cannot resist. As a good treat maker, I know each person’s Achilles heel. For my dad, it is coconut. My brother Alex – anything lemon and he also will eat almost an entire batch of my mom’s snickerdoodles in one sitting. Michael will eat cookies until he is sick and then eat another one. Randy’s weakness is white chocolate and he also loves carrot cake (which I have yet to make for him because I hate carrot cake). I want my last meal on earth to include a brownie. (This one is my current favorite.) My mom loves nuts – she would love these bars. But she also loves a good old fashioned coffee cake.
Last week, my parents and Michael came over for dinner. I was fresh out of cookies so decided to make a quick cake that I found in my Baked Explorations book. This book is a mystery to me. I have looked at it so many times and have also made many things from it. I feel like the recipes reproduce overnight or something because every time I open it, I feel like there is something new in there. Some new treasure.
Anyway, as I have written about many times here, I am a big fan of a simple cake. Not simple as in boring, simple as in not a three layer cake with fillings and buttercream frosting on a Tuesday night simple. A good simple cake is gold for me.
This is no beauty contest winner. But as I brought it out, my mom said, “That is my favorite kind of cake.” And, seeing as this recipe is found under the Breakfast chapter, it really is a coffee cake. But it is great at night as well. Spencer surprised me by wanting me to scrape off his frosting. He only wanted to eat the cake. This from a child who licks the frosting off his cupcakes and discards the cake part. I guess it is a testament to how tasty this simple cake is. But do make the frosting. Easy and yummy.
For the cake
8 ounces chocolate chips
½ tsp. Scotch or bourbon
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¾ cup granulated sugar
1¼ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. cinnamon
For the cream cheese frosting
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
5½ ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and position the rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Heat 1¼ cups water to boiling.
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and toss them with the bourbon until covered. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour over the chips and toss until coated. This will keep them from settling at the bottom during baking. Set aside.
Place the oats and butter cubes in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oat mixture, wait 30 seconds, and stir to moisten all the oats and melt the butter. Set the mixture aside for 25 to 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon until combined. Fold in the cooled oatmeal and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the remaining flour and then the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
Make the cream cheese frosting
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (DT: I skipped this step. It did not seem necessary to me.)
Assemble the cake
Spread a thin even layer of frosting over the cake. Chill it for 15 minutes so that it can set. Slice and serve. The frosted cake can be keep, refrigerated and tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Bring the cake back to room temperature before serving.