Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred and Twenty (Spelt Coffee Cake the Answer to an April Fool's Snowstorm):

It just AIN'T fair.  Finally, we saw a glimpse of spring.  The brown beaten wet grass in our front lawn and the last remnants of polluted snow banks littered with tar and sand all sang the notes of spring to us.  We could hear it!  The kids even got to take out their bikes for a day or two.  The cats started choosing the out-of-doors, rather than their litter box, to deposit their cat duties.  It was glorious!

But, that all changed.  April 1, 2011, the day that makes us all FOOLS, brought us a whopper of a snowstorm.  School was cancelled, roads were too slick to drive anywhere, and Olivia - now almost 9 - was BORED out of her mind.

"Ahh, honey, please let me get just a little more shut eye...we can rest, stay in, keep on  our jammies."  No doing for this kid.  She was BORED, is BORED, and will forever be BORED, unless we figure something for her to do.

Well, I was NOT going outside.  I've had it.  I am not built for cold, but for some reason, I was born into a 4 season climate with long winters, and moved to 4 season climate with longer winters.  What's the matter with me?  I need to go south.  It is in my blood.

So, what to do?  Well, this almost 9 year old is an excellent reader, and an even better speller.  Just ask her?  How to you spell...PHENOMENAL...well, she'll tell you, and then tell you some more.

I said, let's make cookies...She suggested something better.  COFFEE CAKE...."O.K., Olivia, you get out the cookbook, follow the directions, and get to work."  And, that is what she did.   We modified the recipe just a bit to use spelt instead of wheat, and to make our own sour milk with milk and fresh squeezed lemon.  The result was an absolutely decadent coffee cake - phenomenal in fact.  The problem is our family of 5 ate the entire cake (with a few pieces to spare for some special friends) in less than a day.  Great cake, but we'll make this baby only once a year.  Too much sugar and fat for our daily intake...but once in a while, especially on such a FOOLISHLY snowy April's day, it is the perfect treat.

1 and 1/2  cups VITA SPELT organic white spelt flour
1 cup organic VITA SPELT whole spelt flour
1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup BUTTER
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
2 beaten eggs
1 and 1/3 cups of milk with 1-2TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice (let sit for at least 5 minutes)
1 cup chopped nuts (we used a mix of pecans and walnuts)
1-2 TBL organic molasses (optional)

Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium bowl. combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Set aside 3/4 of a cup for topping.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and all spice into remaining crumb mixture.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk and lemon.  Add wet mixture to dry and mix together.  Pour batter into prepared baking dish.  Combine nuts with reserved crumb mixture, drizzle in molasses.  Mix together in crumb form and then sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

ENJOY!!!  Eat as you watch the snow gently coat the escaping vestige of spring.

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