Monday, December 26, 2005

1941 Mrs. Felker's Sunday Coffee Cake

Friday night we went out to eat with Joyce and Bill and then we stopped here for dessert. Joyce presented us with a lovely wrapped loaf coffee cake which was nice. However, when I opened it Christmas morning and had a taste, I was pretty sure I recognized Mrs. Felker's coffee cake from the drug store in Mt. Morris, IL. Both the Felker's and Zickuhr's Drug Stores had lunch counters managed by the wives of the pharmacists. They were the after school hangouts for the high school kids and the Monday morning quarterbacks. They were wonderful pieces of Americana, now gone. I worked at Zickuhr's in high school and during college breaks, and I think one of my sisters worked at Felker's.

I put together a family cookbook in 1993 for a family reunion ten years after the death of my grandparents who had been married 71 years when they died in 1983. Each member of the family was asked to submit a recipe with a brief comment. Some contributed more than one, some not at all, but my sister-in-law submitted "Mrs. Felker's Sunday Coffee Cake" because she had worked there at one time in the 1960s and knew how popular it was. I've only made it once, for a wedding breakfast, and it truly is the most delicious coffee cakes east of the Mississippi. I'll ask Joyce the next time I see her, but I'm pretty sure this is it.

Sift together:
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Cream well:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
Add, beating well:
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix in by hand:
1 small carton of sour cream
Set aside:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Topping mix:
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 tsp. butter

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Grease and flour an angel food pan. Spoon in half of the batter. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the topping mix plus 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. Spoon on remaining of batter and the rest of the topping mix, plus 1/4 cup of pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

This coffee cake was a regular feature at the lunch counter on Sunday mornings at Felker's Pharmacy in Mt. Morris, IL before it was removed.

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