I am a morning person, especially on the weekends. What does this mean? In essence, this translates into an absurd amount of unnecessary energy roaring to go way before Mr. F crawls out of bed. Therefore, if I can keep the dish clanking to a minimum, I might have a chance to expel some of that energy in the form of breakfast. So what's better on the weekend than a pastry and coffee?
On a regular basis, I am usually not one to part-take in sugary breakfast foods. I will admit that I occasionally love those enormously sweet cinnamon buns that are doused with a blanket layer of sugar icing like the next person. And if I'm lucky not to go into a sugar coma before the end, I will just get a stomach ache before lunch; thereby, ruining any dreams I had of being productive during the day. So to overcome the sugary sweetness, this strudel is made with cream cheese. mmmmm...cream cheese
Since the preserves are simply a filling, feel free to choose any flavor you have on hand. I happen to have had apricot and peach, so I chose between the two. And since you pour the icing on top, you can control the desired level of sweetness.
This was so simple to prepare, I managed to get the strudel in the oven just as Mr. F woke up. Im blaming it on the delicious smell :)
FYI, by its creator, this recipe is called a coffee cake. Yes, I do enjoy it with coffee. However, since I made it, I'm calling it a strudel only because its sounds cooler.
Recipe adapted from Luna Cafe
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
½ cup milk
½ cup apricot preserves (or your favorite flavor)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to distribute the baking soda and salt.
- With a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers, cut the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture.
- Quickly and gently blend in the milk.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead VERY LIGHTLY for 4-5 strokes.NOTE This is the step at which you can ruin the strudel. If you overwork the dough, the pastry will be tough. Just gather the dough together and don’t worry about making it smooth. It will still look a little rough. That’s perfect.
- On waxed paper, roll the dough to an 8- by 12-inch rectangle.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and remove the waxed paper.
- Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds.
- Spread preserves down the middle third of the dough, keeping it about ½ inch from the mark on both sides.
- Make 2¾-inch slight diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each the long sides. Do not cut into the center jam-filled area.
- Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in a rotating fashion, over the filling. The coffeecake will now resemble a braid.
- Bake in a 425° oven for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the top is lightly browned.
- In a small glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the coffeecake.
- If desired, sprinkle on the toasted sliced almonds while the icing is still wet.