Friday, October 12, 2012

Vanilla Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Way back when, in June of this year, back when Summer still laid before us all as an open road and not as the distant memory it will soon become, Bon Appetit did an interview with Olivia Munn, the very funny, very cute actress (I hear she's soon to be a guest on New Girl... Eeee!!).  There was a line from the interview that I remember loving back in June, but then promptly forgot as summer came around in all it's glory.  If it wasn't for me idly flipping through the June 2012 issue laying on my nightstand haphazardly, it might have been lost forever.

Lucky for us I was bored last night.

When asked what food show she would host, Olivia responded with: "We'd cook through the latest food magazines and see which dishes are worth it. I get annoyed when the pictures look great but the recipes don't work, or they're really hard, or you need this one special ingredient you can only get at the Armenian grocery store 20 miles away."

GAH.  That's me!  That's what I'm doing!  Like right now, right here, right this very moment!  I know, it sent chills down my spine too.  Someone obviously needs to call Olivia up so we can get this thing going.  Ok, maybe not, but at least last night when I was stressing over when I would have the time to cook my next blog post, it was a nice reminder that I'm not completely crazy and that just because it's hard, that's not a reason to quit.

So in that spirit, let's talk about this breakfast cake.  It's beautiful, right?  And quite certainly not as gorgeous as ms. pastry affair's version.  Yet, and you know there was a yet coming, it was different.  It wasn't bad tasting, but it also wasn't knock your socks off delicious.  It was more dense and dry, then cakey.  Like a quick bread that you forgot to add zucchini to, to make it moist.  The crumb was interesting, attributed to the cornmeal I am sure, but there wasn't enough to make it cornbread-like.  Have I confused you yet?  Let me try again.  What it comes down to is the love child of dry zucchini bread and corn bread.  But not bad.

That won't convince you to make it, I know that.  I'm ok with that, I don't think it's necessary to make.  But if it intrigues you enough, go for it.  I promise it won't go uneaten.  Mine most certainly didn't.

Vanilla Cinnamon Breakfast Cake
Adapted from the Pastry Affair

1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 c. milk (I used 1%)
1 large egg
2 tps. pure vanilla extract
1 c.ground cornmeal
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt

Vanilla Royal Glaze:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9X9 square cake pan.

In large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, milk, egg and vanilla until completely incorporated.  Gently mix in remaining cake ingredients, mixing just until batter comes together.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 35-37 minutes, until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 or so minutes in pan.  Carefully run a knife around the edges to help release cake from the pan.  Continue to cool on wire rack another 10-15 minutes, until cake is cool.  Cut into bars (If you don't wait until the cake is cool, your bars will not be clean cut!)

To prepare glaze, mix powder sugar and vanilla together.  Starting with 1/2 tsp of milk, very gradually continue adding milk to the glaze until it is the right consistency.  If too runny, more powder sugar can be added.  Do not make glaze too far ahead of the bars being cool.  It should be made just before drizzling, otherwise it will harden up.

Drizzle glaze over bars.  Either eat immediately, or let glaze harden a little if you are going to stack them up.

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