Sweet treats

Who can resist a good coffee cake?

Let them eat cake: These dessert recipes will surely satisfy any sweet tooth.

April 7 was National Coffee Cake Day. Eating sweet cakes with coffee probably began in the 17th Century in Europe when coffee was introduced there. The Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians, who were known for their delicious sweet yeast breads, brought their recipes to America with them. Coffee cakes in America sometimes had coffee as an ingredient, a thrifty way to use leftover coffee. Who can resist a good coffee cake along with coffee, tea or milk?

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY COFFEE CAKE WITH STREUSEL TOPPING

2 cups Bisquick baking mix

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

2/3 cup milk or water

½ cup (your favorite) jam or jelly

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup Bisquick

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

4 Tbsp. cold butter

In a small bowl, combine the Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, knives, or use your hands until the topping looks like coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the batter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease and flour a round cake pan (9½ x 1½ inches).

In a bowl, mix together the Bisquick and sugar.

Beat in the peanut butter.

Add the milk and egg and beat well for ½ minute.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Spoon jam over batter, spreading evenly.

Sprinkle Streusel Topping evenly over the jam/jelly.

Bake 25–30 minutes.

Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired

Peanut butter is so popular in the United States that the founder of the company that makes Nutella refused for decades to enter the American market because he worried that his product could not compete with it. He first sent his little mints known as Tic Tacs to the United States before introducing Nutella here.

PEANUT BUTTER CAKE

Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan.

1½ sticks butter, softened

¼ cup peanut butter

4 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

2 cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

3 cups flour

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup water

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat at slow speed for 30 seconds, then at medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake 20 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted in cakes comes out clean.

Use the following icing when it has cooled.

Peanut Butter Topping:

½ cup peanut butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

½ cup milk (or more to reach desired consistency)

Combine all ingredients until smooth, and pour over cake.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY PIE

1 chocolate-coconut graham crust (Recipe in next week’s column) or your favorite pie crust, baked and cooled

1 package cream cheese, 8 oz., at room temperature

¾ cup chunky peanut butter

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbsp. honey

1 cup jam (your favorite)

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, milk and honey until well mixed.

Spoon the mixture into the crust to distribute evenly.

Spoon the jam over the peanut butter evenly.

Topping:

2 cups chilled whipping cream

4–5 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. rum (optional)

Coconut and/or chopped peanuts for garnish

In a bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form.

Add the sugar, vanilla and rum and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Mound the cream evenly over the jelly layer.

Garnish, if desired.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.