Warm & delicious Cinnamon Spice Coffee Cake is the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving morning.
Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
I have to say, I am thankful for miraculous blessings. The things outside ourselves, that we have no control over, or didn’t do ourselves. When I think of thankful Thanksgiving stories, I think of one particular Thanksgiving.
It was 2009, and my husband had been in Afghanistan for several months. He had just come home the week before to have his two weeks of R&R, and I was thrilled that it fell over Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.
The day had started out as any other Thanksgiving. We got up, got the turkey in the oven, did the prep-work for the side dishes. Thanksgiving always means family getting together, and as was our custom, “family” meant our fellow army family. My neighbor and good friend, Pam was over and we would be celebrating the holiday together with all of our kids. Her husband was in the same unit as Jeff, and was in Afghanistan. So she and I were busy in my kitchen, prepping other dishes to serve.
We had just stopped for a break, to wait on the turkey to finish roasting, when we saw our neighbors out back looking for something. Their toddler had opened the door, and their young black dog had escaped. Jack and I headed out to help them look for their dog. In the process, we saw another black dog, and a beagle running around loose. We started walking down the sidewalk, looking for our neighbor’s missing dog.
Just then, a lady drove into our neighborhood and saw us looking around. She stopped told us that there was a black dog out in front of our neighborhood, heading towards the very busy 4-lane highway that was out there. So we started off in that direction, and the neighbor grabbed his car, and headed out there as well. As we got to the road, he came in with his dog in the backseat. She had been sitting next to the highway, staring at the traffic. While we talked to him, the beagle we had seen earlier, came over to us and then started walking off, nose to the ground.
Our neighbor headed home, since he was blocking the road, and we turned around to see a nightmare scene.
Suddenly everything went “slow motion” as the beagle ran right into the highway…directly in front of a pick-up truck going 60+ miles an hour – and was hit.
It was horrific.
The sound of the dog hitting the bumper, and the sight of it spinning like a top in the turning lane. Jack was in instant hysterics, and as I tried to calm him, my friend Pam bolted into the highway to get her. As she got to the turning lane, the beagle began to move. She scooped her up, and I turned and ordered Jack home. I didn’t want him seeing anything bad….it was already bad enough. I was envisioning broken bones, blood…all the things an animal loving 12 year old didn’t need to see.
Pam came back out of the road, carrying the beagle like a baby. We knew for sure this dog couldn’t possibly make it. She had been hit at a high rate of speed by a super-cab pick-up truck, kind of like the one I own now. Internal injuries had to be terrible. The dog just laid in her arms. So we talked to our gate-guards, and asked them to call animal control. Animal control wouldn’t come, it was Thanksgiving. Everything was closed down.
So what to do?
Leave the beagle laying in pain in the side of the road? Oh no. This was someone’s pet. She was clean, healthy, trimmed toe-nails and all. What if it was one of our dogs?
So we took her home, laid a pad of blankets on the garage floor, and began a bed-side vigil for the beagle. We didn’t want her to die alone and afraid. Jack said that we should pray for her. Of course! So we did.
Then he went off on a mission to knock on the doors of the houses where we had seen beagles, hoping to find the family.
About 30 minutes later, something amazing happened. The beagle got up, and started playing, following the kids around. She started drinking water. She ate a bowl of food. We took her in the back yard, and she walked around, used the bathroom, wagged her tail and sniffed everything in sight. Just like any normal dog.
We had a new neighbor who was in the medical field and he came over with his “tools” and checked her out. He was shocked at her condition. He could not believe that there was any way this dog had just been hit by a truck. He told us what to watch for, and said if she made it through the weekend, that he would see about taking her to the veterinarian that he worked with.
So we headed back into the house, and proceeded with our Thanksgiving dinner, with a new guest.
We nicknamed her “Hemi” because she was one tough little beagle. She made herself right at home for Thanksgiving, sitting on the sofa with Josh, laying on the kitchen rug, watching for crumbs to fall.
Overnight, the boys even camped out in the living room, to keep her company.
The next morning, we found her family. They were incredibly grateful and amazed that she was okay. We checked back with them later and the beagle, Sassy, was perfectly fine.
Hemi/Sassy was our Thanksgiving miracle, and what a great miracle to have. I’m thankful that we were there that day to take care of Sassy. If something ever happened to one of our pets, I would hope for the same.
How many dogs can take on a full-sized truck and live to play another day? It is a Thanksgiving we will never forget.
Today I am sharing a recipe that also has Thanksgiving memories attached to it. You see, growing up in my family, every Thanksgiving morning was started with a store bought coffee cake. We never had that kind of a treat for breakfast any other morning except Thanksgiving.
It has kind of become a tradition now that has carried on, to always start Thanksgiving with coffee cake. While I’m not big on store bought cakes, coffee cake is definitely part of the plan every year. This year, it is this simply delicious cinnamon spice coffee cake.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a tube cake pan. Set it aside for now.
In a bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups of cake flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, fine salt and baking soda. Set this aside.
In your mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup room temperature, unsalted butter and 1 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat these together on high until they are nice and fluffy.
Add in three eggs (room temperature) one at a time, completely mixing the egg in before adding the next. After adding all of the eggs, add in 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Again, mix until combined.
Add half of your flour mixture to the mixing bowl, and mix until combined.
Add in 1 1/4 cup of sour cream. Mix until it is combined, then add the remaining flour mixture. Again, mix this on medium speed until it is completely mixed in. Be sure to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula so you don’t miss anything. Set this aside for a moment while you make the filling.
In a small bowl, combine 4 1/2 teaspoons of cold, unsalted butter that is cut into pieces, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1/3 cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts. Mix these together with a fork, mash it against the side of the bowl until it becomes a crumbly mixture.
Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the batter with the back of the spoon.
Sprinkle the filling all over the batter.
Carefully spoon the remaining batter into the pan, over the filling, again smoothing it with the back of your spoon or spatula.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until it tests done in the center with a wooden tooth pick.
Cool it in the pan, on a rack for 10 minutes and then transfer it to a platter.
To finish it off, I like to make a simple glaze to go over the top.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1/4 cup each of butter, sugar, brown sugar and half & half, along with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Turn the heat on medium low, whisk it all together, letting it come to a gentle boil. Let it bubble for 1 minute and remove from heat. Let this cool until it is just warm, stirring occasionally while it cools. As it cools, it will thicken a little. When it starts to thicken, give it a whisking, then drizzle it over the top of the cake.
Serve a slice with your morning coffee and start Thanksgiving off right.
- 2 1/2 c cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted, room temperature butter
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 c sour cream
For the filling:
- 4 1/2 tsp cold, unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 2 Tb brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 c finely chopped pecans or walnuts
For the Glaze:
- 1/4 c butter
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c half & half
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a tube cake pan. Set it aside for now.
- In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, fine salt and baking soda. Set this aside.
- In your mixing bowl, combine unsalted butter and sugar. Beat these together on high until they are nice and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, completely mixing the egg in before adding the next. After adding all of the eggs, add the vanilla extract. Again, mix until combined.
- Add half of your flour mixture to the mixing bowl, and mix until combined.
- Add in 1 1/4 cup of sour cream. Mix until it is combined, then add the remaining flour mixture. Again, mix this on medium speed until it is completely mixed in. Be sure to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula so you don't miss anything. Set this aside for a moment while you make the filling.
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling. Mix these together with a fork, mash it against the side of the bowl until it becomes a crumbly mixture.
- Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the batter with the back of the spoon.
- Sprinkle the filling all over the batter.
- Carefully spoon the remaining batter into the pan, over the filling, again smoothing it with the back of your spoon or spatula.
- Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until it tests done in the center with a wooden tooth pick.
- Cool it in the pan, on a rack for 10 minutes and then transfer it to a platter.
- To finish it off, I like to make a simple glaze to go over the top.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, sugars half & half and cinnamon. Turn the heat on medium low, whisk it all together, letting it come to a gentle boil. Let it bubble for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Let this cool until it is just warm, stirring occasionally while it cools. As it cools, it will thicken a little. When it starts to thicken, give it a whisking, then drizzle it over the top of the cake.
- Serve a slice with your morning coffee and start Thanksgiving off right.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 396 Total Fat 15g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 6g Cholesterol 78mg Sodium 310mg Carbohydrates 61g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 1g Sugar 36g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 5g
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