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Vickie Klimitchek's Coffee Cake

On a recent weekend visiting my parents, my son was inspired to bake. Our first opportunity was Sunday morning, so I decided to steer him towards a simple coffee cake using staple ingredients that my parents already had in one of their three pantries. 

The recipe below comes from Vickie Klimitchek, the mother of one of my aunts.  Mrs. Klimitchek passed away in 2012 and left quite a few poeple inspired in the kitchen, especially to bake. Her grandson, my cousin Ryan, has proudly mastered her kolaches recipe. And I'm fond of this coffee cake recipe. My parents had it written in their family write-your-own-recipes-down cookbook. It's quick to put together and quick to bake and delicious on a chilly, windy Sunday morning. Some topping stays on top, some sinks down into sticky, sugary, buttery veins of deliciousness.

Vickie Klimitchek
I remember Mrs. Klimitchek being quick to joke and laugh in her Texas-Czech accent (of those lucky enough to grow up speaking Czech as their first language.) And she was an angel for my grandmother who lived at home alone into her early 90s, but looked forward to Vickie's faithful visits weekly, checking on her and occasionally running errands.

Mrs. Klimitchek's granddaughter  my cousin Ashley, shared these recollections about the coffee cake... "I loved the moist cake and the posipka was always my favorite.  I remember it being sort of a staple for hospitality for Vickie and her sisters. I seem to recall her sister Maggie (lived in Victoria) usually had this on hand for visitors for afternoon coffee. My Grandma Vickie would make it when we would  visit for the weekend (going back and forth between Goliad and Hallettsville) and serve it for breakfast or even take it to baby/bridal showers. All of her Vanek sisters would refer to this cake as if it was known by all of them. There was Marie, Vickie, Maggie, Frances, and Katherine (deceased before I was born. ) I do recall all chit-chatting when planning what they might bring to an event and it was common recipe understanding when they'd toss around the idea of "coffee cake".  Not sure if that was a time period type thing or a family/cultural influence.  
My cousin Ryan holding his kolaches made
from his grandmother Vickie's recipe. 

Coffee Cake

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 cups sugar
1 egg

1/2 cup milk 

Preheat your over to 375 degrees. Combine and mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Then add milk and egg. When blended, add the flour mixture and blend again. 

For the topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and microwave about 45 seconds, just until mushy.

Grease and flour a 9"x9" glass baking dish. Pour it the cake batter. Spread (or evenly distribute as best you can) the topping over the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

I offer this information about Vickie Klimitchek from her obituary...

Vickie Klimitchek was born on Dec. 5, 1925 to Joe & Mary Michna Vanek in Hallettsville. Vickie grew up on a farm and worked in the fields while attending Sacred Heart School. It was very difficult to balance that life style and still get an education. She would tell stories about how far they had to walk to school and how physically demanding farm life could be. 
Later, she met Robert Klimitchek and was married on January 9, 1945 and raised two children, of which she was very proud of. She worked at Weingartens, Inc. for 25 years, then 11 years at Lavaca Medical Center until retiring in 1993. 
Vickie was a loving, caring, sweet person who was compassionate and always willing to help others. She was very active in her life right up to the time of her sudden illness. She never had an idle moment. As Debbie Fishbeck stated, Aunt Vickie could throw a batch of kolaches together before breakfast, pick vegetables out of the garden, then proceed canning those veggies for something good to eat down the road or share them with her family and friends as her way of saying she loved you. 
Every morning she started the day by praying for her family and friends and reading the bible. She was a member of KJZT, Altar Society,  and Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Hallettsville.
My cousin Ashley and her grandmother, Vickie,
in the kitchen.
She enjoyed teaching family and friends her special techniques of baking her kolaches and noodle making, especially to her grandchildren. In 2005, Vickie presented a kolache baking demonstration at the Winedale Spring Festival in Round Top, Texas. 
She was an inspiration to others with her faith in God and a person who never missed a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion where a card was sent. She was like the “Little Energizer Bunny” always on the go, taking people to doctors, buying groceries for others, or visiting with shut-ins. 
She enjoyed baking, cooking, driving her John Deere tractor, and most of all fishing. She was very attached to her animals, especially her two dogs, Sally and Suzie and her daughter’s dogs, Robin and Bear. They were a joy to her life.
Victoria “Vickie” Klimitchek, 86, of Hallettsville, passed away July 30, 2012. 


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