Ironically we are making progress with Sammy (I think, anyway, unless last night was a fluke), but now Alex is the problem. Sam took less than 5 minutes to fall asleep in mid-bellow. And then Alex took the next friggin’ 2 hours to go to sleep! Every 5 minutes she came out complaining of a tummy ache. Now lest I sound cruel and heartless, these tummy aches started a while back and they were real in the beginning (we think gas maybe). But now they are the symptom that she has figured out gets her out of going to bed. How to I know this? The fact that she bounces out of her room, grinning, announcing her stomach hurts is a good tip off. Mind you it eventually progresses to crying, when she keeps getting sent back, but by then it is clear it is fictional.
The story of the little boy who cried wolf is unfortunately not really comprehensible to her yet.
Can I put her back in her crib?
I decided last night that good sleep hygiene was for 2 parent households and brought both kids to bed with me in the middle of the night when they woke up crying. They proceeded to have a party in the bed—mostly instigated by Alex. Finally I got in between them and put a long pillow on the other side of Sammy to keep her in bed (it is a king sized bed), so we finally got some sleep.
So in light of all this I decided I needed something decadent and already made for breakfast, lest I go completely ballistic in the morning after yet another night of no sleep. Carole Walter is always a good bet in this case. The minute I read that her favorite description of a blueberry buckle is “one giant blueberry muffin” I knew I had found my recipe.
Although I love muffins and do make them occasionally, I am not a huge fan because they go stale so much faster than a cake or quick bread. And they really should be baked the morning they are served, in my opinion. So while I loved her recipe for blueberry muffins, this is the recipe I will return to. It is also superior to the whole grain buckle I made, although that is not surprising as this is far more decadent and less virtuous!
Adapted from Carole Walter’s Great Coffeecakes…
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 t lemon oil (could also use ¾ t cinnamon, but I prefer the lemon)
1/8 t salt
1 ¾ cup sifted AP flour (sift first, then spoon in and level)
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
¼ milk (I used whole)
2 cups blueberries, washed and thoroughly dried
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 9 inch springform plan and then line the bottom with a parchment paper circle cut out to fit (I have not found my parchment paper yet—but I did need to run a thin knife under the cake despite thorough greasing so I do recommend the parchment paper). Set aside.
Prepare the streusel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove and cool to tepid. Add the lemon oil to the butter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt (and cinnamon if using). Add the butter and stir together with a fork or small whisk. Set aside.
Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the butter and lemon zest in a large bowl until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, in a slow drizzle, and beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each. Scrape the bowl. Blend in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk alternately, in 2 additions for the milk and 3 for the flour. Blend until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer (if using) and remove the paddle and, using a spatula, finish mixing the batter by hand, being careful to not overwork. When the batter is totally combined, fold in the blueberries very gently. I like to withhold some of the blueberries and sprinkle them over the surface of the batter, being careful to gently press them into the batter.
Scrape the prepared batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle in the remaining blueberries if you have withheld any, pressing them gently into the batter. Pick up the streusel by the handful, squeezing gently and then crumbling into large pieces over the batter. Use all of the streusel to cover the entire top of the cake evenly.
Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes. The cake is done when a tester comes out clean and the sides pull away from the pan. Remove the cake and let it cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Then remove the sides of the pan and let it cool another 30 minutes. Then use foil to cover the top and upper sides of the cake (I can’t find mine yet so I used wax paper and it worked ok but I think foil would be better) to hold the topping on. Place a cooling rack over the top and invert the cake. Quickly remove the bottom pan and invert the cake back onto the original cooling rack. Remove the foil.
The cake can be served warm but I served the cake at room temperature and it was delicious.