Before I go on a trip, I like to cook what I call "clean the refrigerator" meals. In my head, I pretend that I'm being inspired by my ingredients, but really, I'm just in a mad rush to use up everything because I hate seeing food go to waste. I've actually been pretty good about it this week, so today, the tally of perishables in my refrigerator was: half a bag of cherries, two eggs and some milk on the bottom of the carton. HMMMMMM.......... Can you guess what I made with it?
Tomorrow, we are leaving for a whole week to a place where I anticipate reading at least three big, fat books and not wearing real shoes. It may not be everyone's idea of a perfect vacation, but I can't wait. I made this coffee cake to take with us on the drive, but the smell was so divine, so golden sweet and promising with its subtle notes of vanilla and baked cherries, and the crumb was so fine and so light, that we kind of ate half of it right away, hardly waiting for it to cool. Oops. I'm not sorry, though -- it was totally worth it. Have a lovely week, everyone! If there's an internet connection, I promise to check in!
Cherry Coffee Cake
via A Series Of Kitchen Experiments (check it out - wonderful blog! I simplified the recipe a little, so if you want to do the original recipe, please follow the link!)
1 and 1/2 cup of fresh cherries, halved and pitted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
Preheat the oven to 350F and spray or butter an 8x8 square baking pan.
Pit and halve the cherries and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time and beat briefly, just to to combine. Add in vanilla extract and beat briefly to combine.
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. With the mixer on low speed (or with a wooden spoon), add half the flour mixture and mix just to incorporate the flour. Do not over-mix the dough. Add milk and mix to combine. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix just to incorporate all the ingredients together.
Carefully, fold in the cherries.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the edges are golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.