It is a strange thing when you get an ingredient in your head and you just can't get it out. You are not even sure how you got it there in the first place! (Please tell me this happens to you.) For example...sour cream... which I had in my head for the entire past week. Maybe it was the tangy creaminess that I missed... I searched recipes from pancakes to salads, and then decided to do a little taste testing. I bought a few different containers at the local grocery and tasted them throughout the week. (B gave me the usual quizzical look as he saw me now suddenly eating this random ingredient...although he knows better than to ask.) I used the sour cream on fruit with brown sugar, I dabbed a little on the end of each bite of my crispy quesadilla, and even a small plunk onto the the top of my chili-chickpea soup. Sour cream really goes well with so many things, sweet or savory! Mom, why did you make us leave it off of our burritos for all of those years??
So... when the occasion arose that a good friend of mine did an incredible job of bringing her new baby boy, Otto, into this crazy world, I decided I would make her new family a Sour Cream Coffee Cake. I wanted something homey and satisfying, and something they could easily just slice another piece of, as they run between rooms, feeding and diaper changing.
This recipe is from Marion Burros, and is listed here on David Leite's site (One of my favorite baking blogs!) It is fairly easy to make and can be whipped up pretty quickly. That is, if you are not like me...living in the UAE with a mixer that decided it only wants to work on its super FAST speed (so half of your ingredients tend to end up on the counter, the wall, and on your face, until you just decide to mix by hand.)
The topping, and a secret middle layer, is a crunchy mix of sugar, toasted walnuts and cinnamon (I actually substituted some brown sugar for white sugar, yum). You could also substitute in hazelnuts, and I was thinking maybe some dried cherries..