vrijdag 4 maart 2011

Apple Coffee Cake-- made in the Slow Cooker

It's the Bunnykens dish set again! (side note: I really should take a run to the dollar store and get more unmatched dishes so I can post food pictures on the Internet.)
I really like baking in the slow cooker. I get it that this perhaps sounds a bit odd---- why should I bake something in the crockpot for 2 to 3 hours, when I can easily throw a pan in the oven and have coffee cake in only 30 minutes?

I'll tell you why. I'm bonkers.

I don't mean this in the clinical sense (although I'm sure some could argue otherwise), I mean it in the I'm always doing too many things at once and sitting around waiting for 30 minutes for a cake to rise and bake properly just isn't going to happen.

because the doorbell rings.
or the phone.
because the baby needs changing. 
or because she plays with a bottle of vanilla extract while "sorting" the spice cabinet and some spills and she licks it up and then her mom reads the bottle and finds out it's 26% pure alcohol and maybe-just-maybe over-reacts and calls poison control and talks to a really nice man named Michael who assures her that she's JUST FINE and that NO ONE likes the way that vanilla extract tastes and she surely couldn't have ingested very much.

or something like that.

SO! That is why I like baking in my slow cooker. I like the wiggle room. I like it that I can whip up the batter, wash the dishes, and leave the house to run a few errands or pull some weeds in the garden. I like that I know that when I start to smell the baked goods, there's no need to panic---it's not going to burn to a charred brick. I like that I can hold a baby on one hip while I check the baking process without worrying that she's going to lean in and burn her hand to a singed nub.

The Ingredients.
serves 8
coffee cake:
cooking spray
2 cups Bisquick mix (NOTE: if not GF, you can use AP flour, but a mix will provide the fluffiest result--I used Pamela's Baking Mix. There is a new GF Bisquick, though, at most grocery stores)
2/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2  apples, peeled, cored, diced (green is best, I had Fuji on hand)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

crumb topping:
1/4 Bisquick (or Pamela's, etc. see above notes)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

The Directions.

I used a 4-quart slow cooker with the batter directly in the crock (stoneware)  insert. If you only have a large 6-quart slow cooker, that's okay---put the dough into a loaf  pan and put that into the stoneware insert. No need to add water, just put the pan in the crock.

Spray your pan or 4-quart insert with cooking spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for your coffee cake. Stir with a rubber spatula--no need to break out the mixer. The batter will be thick and lumpy. Pour into your prepared stoneware insert (or baking pan).
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumb topping and sprinkle evenly on top of the batter. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the cake browns and pulls away from the sides. Uncover the cooker and cook on high for another 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

The Verdict.

This is a perfect coffee cake: sweet, but not too sweet, moist and crumbly. I sometimes will make the batter the night before and then scrape it into the crock to bake while I get work done around the house before the rest of the house wakes up. I also love making this during the day as an after school snack. It freezes and reheats (in the microwave) beautifully--perfect for a busy morning.

more crockpot baking magic! 

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