Caramel Chocolate Coffee Cake
1/2 cup mini or 2/3 cup regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter – melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup light sour cream (I used regular Sour Cream because it was all I had at the time)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 caramels – unwrapped (I used "Caramel Bits" which you can find in your local grocery store)
2 tablespoons half & half or milk (I used whole milk)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 inch round springform pan with baking spray.
Combine all streusel ingredients in small bowl; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Beat in vanilla extract.
Beat in all remaining ingredients.
Spoon half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle half of streusel mixture over batter in pan. Spoon remaining batter over streusel; top with remaining streusel. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife along sides of pan to loosen edge. Remove side of pan. Cool at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, combine caramels and half & half (or milk) in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are completely melted (5 to 8 minutes). Cool until thick enough to drizzle nicely; drizzle warm (not hot!) caramel over cake.
For the melted caramel, I melted 3/4 cup caramel bits with 2 tablespoons of milk for 2 minutes on high and stirred every 30 seconds. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before drizzling. Let cool and thicken before drizzling.