Double Streusel Coffee Cake

This is my all-time favorite coffee cake: a simple white cake sturdy enough to hold plenty of crumbly brown sugar streusel. It comes from an old Betty Crocker recipe — when I was growing up, the 1969 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook was my family’s go-to for a lot of baked goods. But over the years I’ve made a few changes — most importantly, I’ve always liked to double the streusel topping. It’s the best part! So here’s my take on updating the recipe with the “proper” amount of streusel.

Ingredients

Streusel:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, softened

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

For the streusel: In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter, using a fork or pastry cutter to distribute the butter evenly. Set aside.

For the cake: In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and blend with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and egg, then pour into the flour mixture. Stir until all the flour is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with an even layer of streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.

Pictured: Fire King Meadow Green Square Baking Dish, Pyrex Yellow 404 Round Mixing Bowl, Agee Pyrex Paisley Round Mixing Bowl, Hazel Atlas Egg Beater Cup

Rainbow Black-Eyed Pea Salad

I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a colorful, bright and tangy salad that doubles as a good-luck charm. Black-eyed peas are a symbol of luck and prosperity in the South and a traditional New Year’s Day dish (usually simmered with greens and served over rice).

Here I incorporated them in a chilled salad that can be made up to one day in advance, serves a crowd and is vegetarian-friendly — perfect for a New Year’s potluck. If you’re not a fan of black-eyed peas, you can substitute pretty much any kind of canned bean — navy beans or garbanzos (or both) would be good too. The vinaigrette is also great on its own as an all-purpose dressing.

Adapted from Bay Area Bites’ Healthy Black-Eyed Pea Salad.

Serves 12

Ingredients

4 15 1/2-oz cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 orange bell pepper, chopped fine
4 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp coarse-ground Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
salt
pepper

In a large bowl, stir together beans, red onion, bell peppers, celery, green onions, parsley and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, mustard, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.

Stir until combined, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Pictured: Pyrex Yellow 404 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl