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Cook’s Illustrated (May/June 2008)

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We’re big fans of oatmeal.  Just this year we discovered the steel cut variety (amazing).  And oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are one of our all-time favorite desserts.  (Well, in truth, only one of us loves them, and the other is always willing to humor him.)

These Southern boys had never heard of Oatmeal Snack Cake, but it sounded right up our alley.

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This is a wonderful cake.  Its consistency is akin to a cross between a coffee cake and a bran muffin, light and sweet.  The topping is a delicious mix of coconut, sugar, milk and butter.  If you like walnuts, those can be added, but we omitted them in our version.

The only question remaining:  when to serve oatmeal snack cake? It seems a little decadent for an everyday snack and not quite right for a dinner dessert.  Perhaps it would be an ideal brunch dessert.  Regardless, Cook’s offers a simple recipe with impressive results.

When would you serve this cake? Let us know in the comments!

Oatmeal Snack Cake with Broiled Icing

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated (May/June 2008)

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This Photo:  Cook’s Illustrated

For the Cake

1 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 cup water, room temperature

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Broiled Icing

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees, with rack in the middle position.  Spray an 8×8 inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and line the pan with two pieces of foil, each of which has been folded in half lengthwise.   The bottom of the pan should be covered with overlapping pieces and the foil should hang over two opposing sides of the pan.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.

Combine the oats with the water in a small bowl until the water is absorbed.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.  In a third bowl (if using a standing mixer, use your mixer bowl), combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter and beat until combined.  Add vanilla and egg and mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture and beat the ingredients together.  Finally, add the oats and mix until the ingredients are combined.

Pour this batter into the foil lined pan.  Using a spatula, smooth the batter until it is even across.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes.  The cake can be tested by inserting a toothpick into the center.  If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready to come out of the oven.

While letting the cake cool, turn on the broiler of your oven and move the oven rack down so that 8-10 inches are between the element and the rack.  Whisk together the icing ingredients in a bowl.  Once the cake has cooled slightly, pour the mixture onto the cake.  Broil the cake for up to 5 minutes, until the top is golden.

Let the cake cool completely.  Once the cake has cooled, using the foil overhanging the pan to remove the cake and place it on a serving platter.  Using a knife or wooden spoon, push the cake off of each piece of foil.  Cut and serve!

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