Word to the wise: you shouldn't go to Trader Joe's when you're hungry. You really shouldn't go to Trader Joe's when you're hungry and nostalgic.
This year I left Christmas Day to spend two weeks with Hilary and her family, which was wonderful but meant that I had to jam all of the usual holiday feasting with my own family in before I left. This resulted in some ridiculous insistence that we do everything like we always did except more. We watched a lot of holiday movies. We drank a lot of eggnog. We left up the tree so that when Hilary comes next week she can see what our house looks like at Christmas.
Wait, we need to talk about the eggnog.
I bought a lot of it. Like, a lot. Like I bought six cartons for four people and then I left for Boston and Hilary two days later only to come home to four cartons of eggnog that will go bad tomorrow. Outside of a sickening amount of consumption -- not exactly helped given that my parents don't drink so there's no rum to be had -- there's not a lot of options to salvage this, except two: ice cream and coffee cake.
It's winter in Texas, which means the low is the mid-40s, so ice cream still makes sense. The coffeecake was a last-ditch effort, but one that turned out to be not just pretty good, but pretty great. It's warm, sticky, and crunchy. It's just nice enough that you don't feel like you were moments before standing at your fridge contemplating drinking eggnog straight from the carton because at this point you could just assign everyone in the house a carton to get rid of however they saw fit. Rather, it looks like you actually planned this all along and that you intentionally bought this eggnog just to make this coffee cake.
Which you totally did. High-five for planning ahead!
Now, before you side-eye this as just another coffeecake -- which, what is wrong with you? because carbs -- there's a secret punch in the mix: cardamon. The aromatic spice lends an earthy underbelly here that offsets the sweet perfectly. This coffeecake stands up all on its own and you could trot it out at a brunch without shame.
Or you could stand at your kitchen counter and eat the whole pan while watching Game of Thrones.
No judgement. We're all friends here.
Now, before we get to the recipe, let's do some housekeeping.
How we'll keep up.
I don't know how to Internet sometimes. For reasons that are beyond me, Facebook doesn't like pages anymore, so the best way to keep up with me and my posts is to follow my personal page. I'll be putting up public content there, so we can engage and chat and question together. (Thanks to Tsh for explaining the crazy of Facebook marketing to me.)
"I have lived in six kitchens."
So begins book two.
My editor called just before the holidays to let me know that Zondervan has green-lit my idea, a written form of the Sacramental Baking course I am entering my fourth session of teaching next week. We're still discussing the title *cough cough I want Out of the House of Bread cough cough* but the content is secure. We'll journey through the making of one loaf of bread and the spiritual disciplines that it invokes us to consider and practice.
"More than anything, I want to teach people different ways to pray." That's what I told my editor last September when we were brainstorming the project, and it looks like I have a chance to do just that. Release date, things like that, are still in the works. For now, just know I'm writing away on something I love.
Trying to write a book and a blog at the same time is a bit maddening. But it's needed. It keeps me asking big questions and asking them well. My incredible fiancée reminded me of that last night. So. Well then. On Monday, the blog is returning with some sort of regularity. Really. I mean it.
What Women Want [from the Church]
I've loved hosting the What Women Want [from the Church] series and the response has been overwhelming. Early on I began to wonder what the next step would be, once the series took off. The natural progression leant itself to gaining traction here, in this space, before passing the project along.
To that end, I will continue to host What Women Want through March and then hand it over to my good friend Elora, who will serve as the new host and curator of the project from April on. You are welcome to keep submitting posts, but note that I may refer you to Elora soon.
Hilary and I spent a lot of time thinking over the guest list for our wedding since it is going to be a small ceremony. Accordingly, we were unable to invite many people who have been significant to us particularly in the online space. We're thinking through ways to circle some of you up in the future for dinner parties and hangouts, but for now know that you are in no small way thanked and loved and cherished. You can see details about the wedding, and check out photos of how beautiful my future wife is, here.
Alright, alright, we'll get to it ...
(adapted from How Sweet it Is)
9x13 baking pan, butter to grease
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (divided into 1/4 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
3/4 cup brown sugar (divide into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you have bourbon vanilla extra on hand, use that)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 and 1/3 cups eggnog
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Rub your 9×13 baking dish with a bit of butter to keep it from sticking. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup brown sugar with a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt. In a large bowl, add butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon; whisk well. Add sugars and whisk again until smooth. Follow with the eggs one a time, mixing until well combined, then stir in the vanilla extract. To this, add the dry ingredients, gently mixing until a grainy mixture forms. Follow at last with the eggnog, mixing until just smooth. It will be thick.
Pour half of the batter into your baking dish, then follow with a sprinkle of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over top. Then cover with remaining batter, using a spatula to spread over sugar if needed. Sugar will peek through, more than likely. Don't fret.
Let's get on with the crumble. To make, simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly. Yeah, really that easy. Now sprinkle evenly over cake, then pop it into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is set in the middle.
While cake is baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients and allow to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit, cooling, until the cake is finished.
After removing cake from oven, immediately poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick, then drizzle glaze over top. Let sit for ten minutes, then serve.