It isn't often that I get excited about a cookie recipe that doesn't contain chocolate as an ingredient. As a matter of fact, the one and only time I personally have posted a cookie recipe and actually baked them was when I made these pinwheel cookies a while back. Remember these???
Patti's recipe and these cookies may even be better, in my cookie jar that is:) So what if they don't have chocolate in them. I don't care if it is Chocolate Week in the UK. October is till Cookie Month and Patti's Forget the Cake Crumb Cake Cookies are my new best favorite.
I've been feeling rather nostalgic the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure why. I've been chalking it up to the change in the season and simply the rhythm of life I suppose. Homesick perhaps? I don't think so. I've adapted to Pennsylvania life quite comfortably. Although, I'm a bit sorry to see things changing rapidly since the Natural Gas Industry has let its presence be known. But that's politics and a subject for another blogger. I'm more interested in telling you about Patti's cookies and how delighted I was to discover them and actually bake up a batch.
As soon as I laid my eyes on Patti's cookies, a flood of emotion came over me. They reminded me so much of Entenmann's Crumb Cake, that I had to run and get Marion to show her. Like many Long Islanders, I have fond memories of family trips to Entenmann's Bakery. Entenmann's has been a Long Island institution long before our family moved to there from "the city" way back in 50s. According to the Entenmann's website, William Entenmann was a young baker from Germany who opened his first bakery in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York in 1898. Later they made their permanent home in Bay Shore, on the south shore of Long Island. Now, I don't quite go back that far, but I do remember the bakery before it was renovated in 1961 into the building that stands now but is no longer owned by the Entenmann's family. Although, it is my understanding the Entenmann name is still very much alive at the Martha Clara Vineyards on the east end of Long Island.
I can't remember whether is was on Tuesdays or Wednesdays but during the middle of week, Entenmann's would mark down their day old cakes with color coded price markings. A black slash meant the cake was a day old and half price. A red slash meant the cake was not retail perfect and also half price. It was during those mid-week specials that my sister and I would jump into the car and eagerly plan our buying spree at Entenmann's Bakery. Our favorites always included Golden Fudge Cake, Blackout Cake and Crumb Cake! Our family didn't have much money in those days so it was quite a treat for us to go hog wild!!! We bought so many cakes when relatives were expected to visit, that the cashier would put them on that funny tying machine and bind them all together. Like peacocks, my sister and I would carry those stacks of boxes out to load in the trunk. We use to freeze them as they were until Brooklyn arrived:) (all our relatives and friends still lived in "the city.") Later in life, I actually worked at Entenmann's, but that dear readers is sweets for another day.
As I prepare this post, it suddenly dawns on me. Perhaps the reason why I've had a case of the mullifubbles is because my niece, who passed away in July of this year, would have been 31 years old on October 29th. It also occurs to me that I should probably bake up a batch of these cookies and send them on down to my sister in New York. She'll understand:)
Forget the Cake Crumb Cake Cookies
(slightly adapted from Olla-Podrida)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks of butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar (I used 1/3 regular sugar & 1/2 vanilla sugar)
2 Tablespoons cinnamon (I only used 1 tbs. cinnamon)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla (I used tsp. vanilla)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and beat together until well blended and large crumbs start to form.
Using your hands grab walnut-sized pieces of dough and place it rather haphazardly onto an ungreased baking sheet. These should look unformed and rustic, like the crumb topping on a crumb cake, but sized like a medium cookie. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to set on the baking sheet for three minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle tops with powdered sugar. Makes 24.
Note: I would suggest you go visit Patti @ Olla-Podrida. She has great pictures of what the batter should look like. It took me about 5 minutes to get the batter to look "crummy" using an electric hand mixer. (no I don't own a KitchenAid:) I also got a bit carried away with trying to perfect the size of a walnut so Marion and I didn't get to eat 24 cookies. More of a reason to bake them again:) I also got a bit creative and at the last minute, I popped a few frozen blueberries on a few of them before putting them in the oven.
Patti suggested waiting 3 minutes, well, that didn't happen. I just had to try one immediately. You see, when it comes to crumb cake, it's all in the streusel and warm cinnamon-y crumbly streusel is the BEST! I let them cool before having another and offering a few to Marion. The blueberries were a welcome burst of goodness but they actually took the stage right up there with the cookies the next morning with coffee. And, speaking of coffee or tea for that matter, if you're a dunker, which I am, these cookies are true dunkers in every sense of the experience!!! The next time I bake them, I'm going to play with the spices a bit. I think pumpkin spice may work nicely too as would a few splashes of lemon juice or grated lemon rind. I must admit, they didn't last long around here. Marion and I really indulged ourselves. The next evening, we crumbled a cookie over our ice cream. Ooo la la. (and I'm not much of an ice cream lover:) If by chance you do have a few left, I would suggest putting a tiny piece of apple peel in wherever you store them. I have a feeling, like brown sugar, it will keep the cookies from getting too dunkable!
The cookbooks arrived early in the week and it has been just driving me crazy to keep them a secret any longer! Ta da!!! (clicking on the books will only enlarge them, not take you anywhere:)
And for those of you who may live in "far-away" places, should you win, here are the books I've selected from my personal collection. They may be minis, but they have a lot to offer:)
With the exception of the minis, all of the books are hardcover and brand spanking new just waiting to be caressed:) I would also like to take a moment to put a shameless plug in to the wonderful staff at Comic Swap in State College, PA. When I told them it was my blogoversary and that I wanted to do a little something special, they surprised me by kindly co-sponsoring this give-away. Thanks guys!!! (I guess I better bake them some cookies:)
Now remember, the "contest" as some of you have dubbed the Cookbook Party, is not over. On the contrary, it has just begun. We still have two full weeks to go. So, dig out those cookbooks and celebrate October's menu of food celebrations. They're all listed on the left hand side just waiting to be "plucked." The "rules" are here:) "See ya Sunday! Louise Tweet this post.
Cookbook Party Related Posts & Updates
October 17, 2011: As of this amendment, the Cookbook Party has begun its third week. For ease of navigation, I have listed posts that have anything to do with the party and a brief description.
1. It's a Surprise!
This is a list of October celebrations much like the one in the left sidebar except this list includes links to the "sponsors" of the respective event.
2. It's a Cookbook Party
The invitation to the Cookbook Party can be found here. It also includes the infamous "rules."
3. Cookbook Party Entries Week One
We had a cornucopia of delicious entries for the party in the first week. Go see...
4. Preview of Give-away Cookbooks.
I've always been terrible at keeping a secret when it comes to cookbooks. So, these are the books which I will be giving away. One each week for the month of October. If it isn't October 31, 2011 yet, you still have time to join!
5. October Cider Cake and Cookbook Party Entries Week Two.
The Cider Cake alone is worth a visit. Oh no, don't be silly, I didn't actually bake it. The recipe comes from the Southern Heritage Cookbook. And, if you thought Week One had some unique and delicious entries, Week Two has even more!Resources
1. New Jersey Crumb Cake
2. German Crumb Cake, Brooklyn Style
3. In Search of Entenmanns Style Crumb Coffee cake (Taste of Home)
4. Homemade Entenmann's Cheese Filled Crumb Coffee Cake