With Christmas season practically in full-swing (uh, if your name is Hayley Parker, it’s most definitely in full-swing, seeing as all my decorating, shopping, and wrapping is done.. ahem), it’s no surprise that Christmas shopping is definitely happening. And while I love holiday shopping, I seriously loathe it at the same time.
No, not for the snaking lines of angry customers. No, not for the fact that my skinny wallet becomes practically emaciated by the time I’ve left the mall. No, not for the fact that I spent more time rabidly searching/stalking for a parking spot than I actually spent in the mall. But simply for the Aggressive Salespeople.
Okay, so I’ve worked retail before. I know there are certain sales and quotas you have to meet, stupid little lines you have to say, and general prodding one must do at their retail job. However, some people take that prodding to a whole new level of full-on assault and I dislike that intensely. Those people are now known as Aggressive Salespeople.
You know the sitch. You walk into a store like chum in a shark tank and are instantly swarmed by commission-hungry associates rattling off canned sales-pitches like “buy one, get one half off sweaters!” or “check out our awesome selection of holiday dresses!” It’d be one thing if they left it at that, or simply asked if you needed help, but Aggressive Salespeople, much like the Devil and Charlie Sheen, have no souls. They do not care about your shopping well-being.
What was intended on being a breezy, “just browsing” scenario quickly turns into something far more miserable than your little shopping mind had intended. You’re now a pawn in this Hunger Games-esque battle to the death between these sales associates as they verbally hound you and wait to strike when you’re at your most vulnerable: when you find something you like and want to try it on.
Because now you know once you try it on, Aggressive Salespeople have you good. You’re so cute and naive if you think you’re going to painlessly try on that dress without interruption, because for the next 8 minutes you’re changing in and out of your clothes, Aggressive Salespeople will knock on your door no less than 51 times, each time asking “how it’s going?” or they’ll begin bombarding your dressing room with colorful cardigans, flimsy camisoles, or scarves “because they’d look totally adorbz with that dress you’re trying on!!”
And when you–very bravely–emerge to check yourself out in the full-length mirror (a very brilliant ploy for Aggressive Salespeople, those damn sneaks), Aggressive Salespeople will flock to you and pepper you with fake-compliments or my personal favorite, compliminsults, about how the dress “totally hides any weirdness” (uh, thanks) or “makes you look SO lean and pretty” or my least-favorite, “that dress is SO you!!” (you don’t even know me, 17-year old retail person. Leave me alone).
Look. I know retail is a cut-throat world. But I honestly just wanted to shop in peace without feeling like my day would have been better spent swimming in a pool of blood with hungry sharks, or jumping off of a rocky mountainside into a river of magma. You know, the simple kind of shopping where help is there if you need it, not the kind where you rock helplessly back in forth in the dressing room, being showered with cardigans as you SOS-text your mom to please save me.
So, thank god for online shopping, right?!
And Super Crumb Cake. Holy helllll, thank god for that.
What, do you ask, defines a crumb cake as being “super”? Well, young grasshopper, it’s what happens when a crumb cake’s crumb topping goes through that crazy teenage phase and experiments with steroids that enlarge its crumb topping triple the size. And unlike real-life steroids, it’s awesome.
Because I don’t know about you, but often I find myself saying, “this crumb cake needs more crumb!” And thus, Super Crumb Cake was created. For all you crumby people out there
Super Crumb Cake *adapted from Baked Bree’s New York Crumb Cake recipe
For the Cake:
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Super Crumb:
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
3 sticks butter, softened
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally spray a 13×9″ baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry cake ingredients (1 & 1/2 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt). In another medium bowl, whisk together the wet cake ingredients (the oil, egg, milk and vanilla). Gently whisk the wet into the dry mixture until the batter comes together. Pour the batter evenly into the greased pan.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the Super Crumb ingredients until the mixture just about comes together (it’ll look like big clumps of crumb).
4. Breaking up the crumb with your hand, drop heaping handfuls of the crumb evenly over the surface of the cake. Make sure to thoroughly cover the surface of the cake; any cake left uncovered by crumb will bubble up. Once the cake is smothered with crumb, bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
5. Cool the cake somewhat in the pan before cutting into squares. If desired, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or cinnamon sugar, and serve warm.
Super Crumb Cake.. I love you. In my humble opinion, this is the epitome of crumb cake. Massive hunks of spiced, brown sugary crumb top a light and fluffy vanilla-flavored cake. The balance in weight from the dense crumb and the airy cake somehow works, and there’s no doubt that every bite will be laced with that aromatic cinnamon, sweet vanilla, and sprinkling of sugary crumb. SO insane and so delicious.