Who the heck was Merk? It doesn’t matter because whoever you were, you like countless other names graced my Grandmother’s handwritten recipes. This one she officially hand wrote and mailed me when I was newly married along with the infamous side note “good” as she often “tagged” the exceptional ones.
I figured this recipe came about in my mailbox after a Sunday morning phone conversation about what I feed my new husband, his likes, and dislikes. I think at the time I wasn’t sure what but knew like any newlywed what cookies he preferred (snickerdoodles, but trust me he won’t snub his nose at too much, okay maybe oatmeal raisin which is my favorite.)
Lucky for my husband, I resurrected this recipe from my countless best recipes box titled Best Recipes Friends/Fam. Maybe you have a stash of recipes falling apart in a box like mine crammed with food memories. Lucky for me “Merk” perked my curiousity with her handwritten promise was at the top of the box.
Merk’s coffee cake, in a word, reminds me of HOME. This cake loaded with a cinnamon coated crunch of walnuts top and center countered by a crumbly sweet cake—a perfect coffee clutch companion.
Fall, in my opinion, is like the baking gods are whispering BAKE SOMETHING damn it. It’s when I start thinking about my good friend’s Texas Trash recipe and mailing batches to the college kiddos. Or the family favorite Chicken Jalapeño dip (recipe here) for the Kansas City Chief’s football opening game next Thursday. So, if you are new to this cooking thing, single or recently married, get yourself a box and begin collecting recipes from your friends and fam, or start your journey here at MW+GF, I promise to share only the best of the best.Print
My Grandmother’s Merk Coffee Cake recipe lives on! Brought back into my baking rotation from my Family/Friend’s tattered recipe box, you will enjoy the nostalgic cinna-nutty flavs my grandmomma dubbed “good.” Somedays, you need to go back in time for greatness.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 pint sour cream
- 6 tablespoons margarine, softened
- 1 cup firm brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
In her words:
Grease shortening, sugar, vanilla– add eggs singly beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, soda together. Add to creamed mixture. Alternating with sour cream. Blending after each addition.
Spread half of batter in a 10″ tube pan that has been greased and lined on bottom with wax paper. Cream margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Add nuts, mix well.
Sprinkle over half of the nut mixture evenly over batter in pan. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle on remaining sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or till done.
Let cool completely. Invert on a serving platter and brew up a pot of Joe. Pat yourself on the back. The Merk is back. (My words.)
I made it in a loaf pan and I used parchment paper. Waxed paper may have been different 30 odd years ago. Today I think it wouldn’t be wise. Stick with parchment.