March 1, 2014

Spiced Apple Cheesecake Coffee Cake

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This is the thickest coffee cake I have ever made.  And honestly, it is one of the best ever.

I first made this at the beginning of last year, after my Dad bought me this Williams Sonoma Baking Book for Christmas.

Since my Dad is a no-chocolate-all cinnamon-sugar-kind-a guy (with the occasional Snickers bar thrown in ... I know, how could you like Snickers and not like brownies?  I don't understand.  But I don't try to either)

Anyways, since my Dad is one of *those* people, this was the first recipe I tried out of the cookbook.

Oh my goodness, was it good.

And I remember it vividly. Guys, I even mentioned it in this blog post about crazy cookies.  I cannot even believe how old that post is!  December of 2012.  Crazy.

But I remember it.

It is incredibly thick.  Like, these slices are not for the faint of heart.  They're like the burgers that are so tall there is no way you could ever get your mouth around it in one bite.  But you'll try as hard as you can anyways.

This the apple coffee cake version of that.

Thanks to the butter and cream cheese combination, the cake is super moist.  The apples make it even better, but despite being so soft inside, these hold up easily to two fisted eaters.  Oh, and people's who eyes are bigger than their mouths, literally.  ^ the macho burger types

How on earth did I get on the subject of burgers? 

Welcome to my brain.  I know you are looking for the exit sign.

So, we've got our tender and moist cake base.  Now we're going to talk apples.  Do you like apples?  I really like apples.  And they shine in this recipe.  They are tossed in cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar before being folded into the batter, so the apples and spices meld together while baking.

And finally, look at that crust!  This reminds me a little bit of pound cake.  You know, the crackly crust that reveals a dense and buttery inside? 

This was so good I remember how good it tasted more than a year later.

Ok, enough food talk.  It is a good thing I remember how it tasted because I didn't get to eat any this time around.  I'm *officially* dairy free.  There.  I said it.  I am not a huge fan of allergies and all the hype around them.  I personally think they get too much attention.  I really didn't want to admit I had an allergy to some food.  In fact, I'm having a mini panic attack as I type this.  But after several episodes of me unable to walk from stomach pain, I decided something needed to be done (because I really like being able to walk ... and jump ... and play volleyball.  That is the real reason! :)  I tried full off dairy, full on dairy, and repeat for a couple weeks.  It hasn't solved all of my stomach problems, but when I'm off dairy, I feel much, much better.  It does run in our family, so it gives me more confidence in doing this.  Frankly, I worry that I'm wrong.  I don't want people to make a big deal out of it or treat me differently and earlier, I especially didn't want that to happen if I was wrong about being allergic to dairy.  For some reason (again, welcome to my brain) I feel so self conscious about it.  But I figured you all needed an explanation for all the dairy free recipes.  And I couldn't publish this, describing how amazing it was, without letting you know I really didn't eat it.  But my family did and they gave it two thumbs up!

Spiced Apple Cheesecake Coffee Cake
Recipe Source: Williams - Sonoma Baking Book
Yield: 16 servings

2 medium tart baking apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and chopped
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease a 9x9 glass baking pan.
Prepare your apples.  Toss in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until combined.
Fold in apples.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-50* minutes or until crust is browned and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*The original recipe called for 60-70 minutes but my oven runs hot.  I also had to lower the coffeecake to the lower rack at the 35 minute mark because it was browning too quickly.

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