Crumbly Coffee Cake and The Lost City of the Monkey God
There are few things better than a morning spent in an armchair, wrapped in a blanket, devouring a book and the nice, crumbly coffee cake that you did yourself a favor and made while you were still sleepwalking this morning. Also coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
This particular recipe is especially exciting to me because it comes together in mere minutes, and this book was especially exciting to me because it seems like the plot of an Indiana Jones movie if Indiana Jones was really woke and took care to address the potentially problematic aspects of anthropology and exploration. I’m a nerd, okay?
Crumbly Coffee Cake
Straight from the family cookbook.
Crumbly Coffee CakeBy Page & Plate, February 21, 2019
There's something about a buttery, crumbly, cinnamon-y cake and a cup of coffee that gets every morning off to a good start. Do yourself a favor and make some today.
Makes: 12-14 servings
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease and line an 8x8 pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Whisk to mix evenly, then set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, the remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Set aside.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking tin, then mix half of the sugar and spice mixture into the remaining batter. Pour the sugar spice batter on top of the plain Jane batter, then swirl in with a butter knife. It's ART.
- Top the cake batter with the remaining sugar and spice mixture, then bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
The Lost City of the Monkey God
Plot: Just a few years ago, there was a large tract of jungle in Honduras that, though completely unexplored in modern times, was thought to hold several cities lost to the ravages of disease and time. This book follows a journalist who was lucky enough to accompany an expedition to uncover those cities.
Thoughts: I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book without sounding like a complete and total nerd, so just know you’re about to really get it. I love history, anthropology, and the idea of a city that remains “lost” deep into the 21st century is kind of amazing to me, so this book was pretty much one of the best things I’ve read this year. Douglas Preston’s account of the journey was especially riveting given his background as an acclaimed journalist. There is literally no other way that you could feel as invested, excited, and utterly immersed in an exploration for a hidden city unless you were there in the mud with the snakes.
I was especially impressed with this book and Preston’s journalism in regards to the controversy that the expedition garnered, as an expedition of rich white American men exploring in the jungle of Honduras, a country oft exploited by America is wont to garner. He not only addressed the controversy but explained it well, making me trust him all the more as a narrator.
Verdict: Man, I just loved this book. It’s non-fiction for people who don’t love non-fiction, and it’s the perfect example of how good writing can shift your perception of a story. Grab a copy here, and get one for a friend, too.
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