I've had this recipe in my to-make pile for longer than I can remember. I guess I was looking for a good excuse to use three sticks of butter. I finally made it to take with us to the Rock Farm last weekend. It's dessert, but we ate it with breakfast. You can call it coffee cake if it makes you feel better. It's got cinnamon, pecans, and apples, so that sounds like breakfast to me.
The recipe calls for a whole vanilla bean, which I just happened to have, but I don't think it's necessary if you don't have one in the cupboard. Just throw some extract in when you're mixing up the batter. No one will know the difference.
Here's the recipe (which came out of our newspaper) with my notes:
Brown Butter Hiking Cake
3 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C butter, cubed (3 sticks)
1 vanilla bean
2 C granulated sugar
2 C peeled and thinly sliced apples (recipe noted that pears are good, too)
1 C chopped toasted pecans, divided
1 C sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray a tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place butter in a cast-iron skillet or shallow, heavy bottomed pot. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Place the seeds and bean in the skillet with the butter. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes. (I don't know if my pan was too small or what, but mine took more like 30 minutes.) Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Pick the vanilla bean out of the butter. Whisk in the sugar, followed by the eggs. Using a stiff wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick and stiff. (REALLY thick and stiff.) Fold in the apples and 1/2 C of the toasted pecans.
Scrape the batter into the tube pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted close to the tube opening of the pan comes out clean.
Let the cake rest in the pan for 30 minutes. Then turn it out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth. When the cake is cool, drizzle the cake with the glaze and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 C of pecans.
Slice, eat, repeat.
Here it is, ready to load up for the weekend, at my house:
It definitely didn't suck.
Please see my sidebar for the parties I link up to.