Friday, March 11, 2011

The best Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake...Ever.

When I was in the 7th grade in the very early 90's, I took home-economics as an elective.  That's probably where my love to cooking and sewing developed.  In that large classroom with florescent lights, gawky 7th graders and badly sewn projects, we were given a recipe for a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, told to walk over to the kitchen, assign duties to each person in our group and make said cake.  Who would have expected much from a bunch of 7th graders who were probably more concerned about whether their mile-high permed bangs needed more hairspray or whether they had enough time between classes to run to the bathroom and apply more blue eyeliner and pale pink lipstick? Ah, yes, the early 90's how I miss you. But, I digress.  I didn't expect much, and boy am I glad I was wrong.   This was the BEST Bomb-diggidy Coffee Cake I had ever had.  At that time it was probably the only coffee cake I had ever had. My mom didn't do much baking when we were growing up. I think we ate Little Debbie Cakes for our chocolate fix (shivers). Again, I digress.  This coffee cake was SOOO good - moist, tender, a bit of chocolate in every yummy bite.  I ran straight home (after school) and promptly shoved the recipe in my mom's face.  She promptly shoved it back in mine and, needless to say,  I've proudly been making this cake for 20 years now.  It's always been met with rave reviews to anyone and everyone I have served it to.  It's my go-to cake for company, for Christmas gifts to the neighbors, for snowing winter days with hot cocoa, for potlucks... actually it's just my go to cake. Period.  I don't really need a reason for eating cake, do I?

Much to the horror of my mom, you'll find the recipe below. I promise you won't be disappointed.  And your friends and family will thank you! And you will thank me :)

Invited to the Party

Make the Pecan Topping; mix together cinnamon, sugar and pecans* and set aside. 
*Notice I didn't use pecans - my kiddos don't like the pecans on top.  I love the pecans but, alas, everything I do is for them.  This makes quiet a bit of the topping - usually I only use half and refrigerate the other half for the next time I make the cake. 

Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fully.

Add eggs, on at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the vanilla and mix well.

Measure the flour into a medium bowl. I always spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.

Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and stir well.

Alternate mixing the flour

and milk. I usually end with the milk.

Stir in the chocolate chips. I used mini this time, but regular works just as well.

Spray your pan with nonstick spray. 

Pour the batter into the pan

Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar and pecan topping

Yum! Out of the oven. Let it cool on a wire rack. I usually can't wait until it cools completely, so....

I always have a piece while it was still warm. Because I'm impatient.  And because it tastes soooo good warm.   I always re-warm my coffee cake before I eat it, but you can eat it any way you want.  
Nom Nom Nom.  

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

1 stick butter
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
6 ounces chocolate chips

Pecan Topping
1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Prepare Pecan topping by mixing 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans.
3. Cream butter, cream cheese and 1 1/4 cups sugar.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Add vanilla and mix again.
6. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix thoroughly.
7. Alternate adding flour and milk, mixing after each addition.
8. Stir in chocolate chips.
9. Pour into a pan ( I prefer a bundt cake or angel food cake pan)
10. Sprinkle with Pecan Topping
11. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

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