I’m starting with the bad puns already…that can’t be a good sign.
So, I actually created this blog a few months ago. Buuuuut I’ve been putting off writing my first entry because I got cold blogger’s feet–what did I actually have to say? Maybe this was a terrible idea. And why did I ever think that was a cute name for a blog, anyway?
I finally told myself to shut up (inside me, that is. Blogger me, we want her to talk).
What is Chip Chip Hooray? Well, on the one hand (and on the most literal level), I want it to be a record of my culinary exploration. I’ve always had a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) appreciation for baked goods, and, more recently, really excellent food of the savory variety as well. I’m fascinated by food blogs, sometimes to the detriment of my actual, paid employment. And I love the idea of having a sort of e-storage of my ponderings and musings about all things yummy. New recipes I tried? Particularly interesting article on food I saw? Delicious restaurant or rogue food cart I think everyone should visit rightthisminute? Now I have a place to write all that! But on the other hand, I don’t want to just limit it to baking and food shtuff. Because, frankly, I don’t always have all that time to dedicate just to ogling pretty dishes (much as I may wish I did). So you may occasionally get bits and pieces from my Real Life, aka the world of books that dominates my 9-to-5 day, or whatever miscellany may be bouncing about when the writing urge should strike. You have been warned!
The recipe I decided to use for my very first post is a bit of a family affair…follow the jump!
My cousin got married this past summer, and my two sisters and I were all asked to be bridesmaids. The morning of the wedding, as we were all running around with hairpins flying and zippers breaking (that one’s not a joke, unfortunately), my aunt (the mother of the bride) brought out two giant 13×9 Pyrex dishes full of freshly baked crumb cake. Now, it is a well-known fact among my family members that baked goods will solve many a dilemma. But take eight stressy bridesmaids and stick a warm, cinnamon-y crumb cake in front of them? Suddenly we’ll pose for as many pictures as you want. (Okay, maybe the mimosas helped as well.)
|Note the wedding detritus scattered around the crumb cakes…clearly the bridesmaids had already dug in.|
My youngest sister–we’ll call her Baby Chip–absolutely loves this cake. She probably ate a whole Pyrex on her own, and she raved about it for the rest of the summer. Baby Chip’s birthday is this weekend, and so I decided to bake her a crumb cake all her own. Success! She cut herself a giant hunk after she stopped squealing.
Auntie’s Yummy Crumb Cake
1 box vanilla cake mix (Okay, okay, I know this is a little bit of a cop-out for a recipe posting. But truth me–this crumb cake is so worth it you won’t even mind that Betty Crocker’s giving you a little help.)
For crumb mixture:
2/3 cup granulated (white) sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 sticks melted butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Prepare cake mix as instructed on the box. (For the mix I used, this involved adding 1 1/4 cups water, 3 eggs, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.)
2. Grease and flour a 9×13 Pyrex baking pan. Pour vanilla cake batter into the pan and let bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While the cake is in the oven for these 20 minutes, prepare your crumbs.
3. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and flour in one bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, cinnamon, and vanilla.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture. Start to stir with a wooden spoon, then finish forming the crumbs with (clean) hands. (This is where it gets fun–I like to form giant crumbs [think the size of huge marbles] since for me, crumb cake is merely an excuse to eat as much crumb topping as I darn well please. Baby Chip prefers smaller crumbs that are layered on top of each other almost like sand.)
6. When the cake’s 20 minutes are up, remove from oven and carefully place crumb mixture on top of partially baked cake.
7. Return cake to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy!
Note: Some cake may bubble up through the crumb top layer. Never fear! If you’re worried about your cake looking pristine, you can carefully peel the excess cake bubble with a fork. Then sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top of the crumb layer–a lot, if you want your cake to have that out-of-a-bakery-box look, or a little, if you just want to disguise any imperfections here and there.
Take a look at some more pictures below.
|A close-up of the massive crumbs. Nom.|
|Cooling unassumingly on its wire rack, waiting for Baby Chip to come home.|