The Icing On The Cake...Apple Coffee Cake

I've told you all about the successful turkey and side dishes (as detailed here and here), so the only item left to cover is the always coveted dessert. On Thursday, I'll be bombarded with apple tarts, cupcakes, and pumpkin bars galore. For this particular faux-Thanksgiving feast, I wanted something sweet and warm with a hint of Fall flavors. That's why I chose an apple coffee cake for the dessert du jour. Though I may have mentioned that I really wanted a dessert for two, this one just couldn't be chopped. And like a Marc Jacobs handbag, once I noticed it, I couldn't get it out of my head.

Enter Emeril Lagasse's Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze. Though I've never cared for him as a TV personality, he strongly upped my affections by guest starring on Top Chef: New York (in the New Orleans ep). Unlike his incessant bam'ming on Emeril Live!, Top Chef Emeril was a sweet man with nothing but encouragement and a soft spot for the young competing chefs. It was then that he won a place in my heart and I've now been known to even catch an ep of Emeril Green now and again on Planet Green, where E serves up green dishes in a show that I like to call The Most Genius Product Placement of All Time - E cooking in a Whole Foods retailer, using Whole Foods products, and telling his proteges about Whole Foods. Genius, don't you think? (This has been added to the list of things I wish I came up with...)

Anyhow, I had never made an Emeril recipe before the apple coffee cake and I cannot tell you how unbelievably moist and delicious this cake turned out. Though I was supposed to find a dessert for 2, I'm thanking my lucky stars that this recipe called for the full 13x9 baking pan as a baking vessel. Now, I can enjoy the cake all week, share it with coworkers, and make this recipe one for the record books. If you're still on the hunt for a Thanksgiving treat, I highly recommend this fabulous dish. Here's the breakdown:

Emeril's Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping & Brown Sugar Glaze
1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (make sure you use apples that are baking-appropriate. I went with Rome apples, but do a simple Google search to find a full list of recommended versions)

Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.
- In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I had a little help from my favorite tool and wonder appliance, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer).

- Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

- Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.
- Fold in the apples.

- Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

- To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Get your hands dirty for this one...
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

- To make the glaze (yup, it's necessary in this situation to have a topping and a me), combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly.
- Serve warm and get ready for lots of compliments on your amazing cake.

So there you have it. A fabulous Thanksgiving dessert with plenty of Fall flavor. The best part? It'll make enough for your whole party. What are you making for Thanksgiving dessert this year? I'm always on the prowl for new Fall desserts, so leave some ideas for me!