One of my favorite foods on earth is crumb cake. To be specific, the type of crumb cake I grew up eating in New Jersey. Often known as "New York Style", this type of crumb cake with big, fat brown sugar crumbs is actually common around the tri state area and even into the mid atlantic. It can be found elsewhere, but in my experience, not with the same frequency as in this area.
Last week, I was putting together a links post focused on creative crumb cake recipes when I came across this recipe for crumb cake cookies. Well, I can tell you that it didn't take long at all for me to make a batch myself.
I took a few liberties with the recipe. For one, I halved it, which I think was thoroughly appropriate for my lifestyle as the halved recipe yielded 24 good sized cookies.
Second, I made a few tweaks here and there: I only used brown sugar in both the cookies and the topping, and I used self rising flour instead of flour plus baking powder, simply because it was what I had on hand at the time. Oh, and I added some extra salt; I didn't measure it, but my cookies came out delightfully salty. I freaking love salt.
Overall, these cookies are a complete winner. In my kitchen for sure, yours next, maybe?
Crumb cake cookies
For the cookies
- 1 1/2 cups self rising flour (or, use 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I added a pinch beyond this; you can add more or less to taste. I like salty!)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the crumb topping
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- pinch salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the brown sugar; continue creaming until fluffy, about 2 more minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined and cohesive.
Form the dough into approximately 1-inch balls, and place 12 balls per sheet, with plenty of space around. They'll spread a bit.
Gently flatten each ball with your hand. Place the sheets in the fridge so the cookies can firm slightly while you make the topping. Or, even take a break and come back to making the topping later.
For the topping: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, knead the mixture until it comes together into a streusel-y topping. Pinch together bits to form crumbs.
Take those cookies outta the fridge. Sprinkle a bit of the crumb mixture on top of each cookie. Press it to make sure it is firmly on top. Don't worry too much about bits on the side, it's inevitable. When the cookies spread, though, they will pick up some of it! :-)
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until browned on the edges and set on top. I baked these at high altitude, so mine might have spread more than yours will.
Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.