apple streusel coffee cake: the perfect treat after a snowy day.

The heady smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, roasted nuts and sweet apples floating through steamy air: there is nothing better than apple coffee cake on a cold winter morn.  The scent seems to instinctually remind almost all who catch a waft of home and comfort.  
A simple recipe, it is easy to whip up in the a.m. and impress those around until the p.m. (when the likelihood increases that it has been eradicated). It is also wonderful to come back to after a marvelously exhausting day of snowmobiling (also affectionally referred to, by those in the 'know', as 'sledding').
We made some 'man-wiches' to sustain ourselves through the day. Look at all that protein! A must for ice and snow (and male-ness involving large exhaust-spewing-machines).
Armed with long johns and banana chips (those who know me also realize that these little slivers of delight are my favorite obsession), we unloaded the sled and made our way up groomed trails to reach glowing, untouched powder.
Brendan played masterfully.
I rode like an old lady. Of course, it was my first time, so my horrendous posture and use of my legs as bent shock absorbers was forgiven.
These two little buttons were my saviors this day - they control the heat on the handle bars. Let's just say that my usually-cold-little-digits were quite taken with these gray buttons of heat.
An interesting adventure - we ended up digging out two more of my namesake on the mountain (a Samuel and a Samson) and earned two cold beer for our hard work. One of them is on the paralympic ski team, and yet sleds as a paraplegic - t'was very neat. We went down the mountain satisfied with a good day's work, and concluded it with warmed apple cake - the scent filling the air and our souls with lovliness.
Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

1/2 flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 c. butter, cubed
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

1/4 c. white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 c. buttermilk

3 large apples, peeled and chopped/shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the streusel ingredients. Set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.

3. Beat sugar and large egg on high for one minute. Add the vanilla and mix it in.

4. Alternate pouring in the flour and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mix. Pour in the apples and mix them in. Pour the mix into a greased pan and sprinkle the streusel evenly all over the top.

5. Bake the coffee cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Try something new and different (and exciting) -- go snowmobiling.