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« Thanksgiving 2011 ... with a bang! | Main | Snap Thursday - Flying High »
Tuesday
Nov222011

Caramel Glazed Spice Apple Walnut Bread

In about 48 hours, Tom and I will be flying over the east coast on our way to meet up with our friends in NYC, to then pile up in a car and drive 2 hours north towards the Catskill region.

We have rented a farmhouse.

In the middle of nowhere!

We have all the Thanksgiving ingredients bought and menu printed and planned.

The goal of the trip is to connect with friends, give thanks over and over again for everything we have and eat huge amounts of food until we cry uncle. In between all this I can guarantee there will be lots of laughs, catch-up stories and in between lots of naps, reading, hikes and the opportunity to lose ourselves in the perfect environment to catch our breath before we get back to our lives the following week.

Because, December is knocking on our doors and it’s looking like a doozy.

Before, we fly the coop; I could not help in posting this recipe that I whipped up last night in order to give to some of my co-workers as a Thanksgiving treat.  It was so good that decided that it would not be fair to keep it to myself until I came back. 

This is perfect for any Thanksgiving table, to share with family and friends.  And for the day after snacking.

After searching for something that screamed WINTERY! I came across a couple of great selections for apple bread. 

Yeah, I know, the universe just came to a stop – I actually cooked something with fruit!  Tom did a double take when he saw me peeling the apples.

This recipe is a dream for a couple of reasons.  It’s a zilch to put together, the only things you will be using are your measuring cups, a bowl, a wooden spoon and the spatula to scrape everything into the baking pan. And the most important thing? I cannot begin to describe how freaking awesome the house smelled during the baking time and hours afterwards.

If ever you needed to feel like fall-winter had arrived, this is the recipe to bake in the oven.

My final recipe was adapted from a couple of recipes that I read from all over but, the bulk of it is from and old Betty Crocker book I had and rarely use…and of course I made some modifications, since I wanted a bit more spices and did not want the glaze to be overly sweet either.

CARAMEL GLAZED SPICE APPLE WALNUT BREAD
Makes 2 loaves.

Bread 

  • 1½ cups shredded peeled baking apples (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled down
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt 

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray or shortening. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, spices, baking soda) in another bowl; stir together with a wooden spoon shredded apples, brown sugar, the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into pans.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place topsides up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1-2 pinches of salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted (you may not use all of it, I used about ¼ cup of it)

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and the pinches of salt. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes. Gradually stir powdered sugar into glaze mixture 2-3 tablespoons at a time (I did not use all of the ½ cup). Beat with spoon until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. If glaze becomes too stiff, stir in additional milk, half a teaspoon at a time, or heat over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle glaze over loaves.

Verdicts:

Tom and Dominic loved it.  In fact Dominic was so excited to try it, he did not even wait for the glazed to be done, but asked that he be allowed to cut into it during the cooling off period and then proceeded to give me two thumbs up with his mouth full of bread.

Tom did not fall far behind his son, and told me that it was so good and you could hardly taste the texture of the apples.  I figured it was his way to get me to try a piece.  After going back and forth he totally convinced me to give it a try (Ok, he also hinted at a gift in the horizon in exchange and I’m one to never say not to gifts).

I had a slice.

And another… and “cough, cough” another.

No, I have not been cured of my aversion to baked fruit recipes.  But, I had to agree with my tasting panel.  It was yummy.  What I really liked was the fact that it tasted like bread, and not cake.  I was not sweet at all, but just right and the glaze made it just special enough.  The next day I warmed a piece up in my little kitchen oven and then spread some honey butter on it.

After the first bite my insides warmed all over… ‘nff said.

And to make sure I describe the taste just right, because quality control in Sweetbites is serious business…‘Scuse me while I go and cut myself another piece.

In the meantime I wish everyone single one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your love ones around you.

Reader Comments (7)

That is really looking so delicious. You did a great job on the photos that I forgot I'm just seeing it from my monitor. I will surely try that one for the coming holidays. Thanks for sharing!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKurt Whitner

what does it feels renting house In the middle of nowhere? I think that is exciting I hope we could also do that kind of trip. your recipe is great.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraquel

@Kurt.. its better in the flesh.. and super easy to put together... it took longer to cook than to whip up and place in the baking pans. Do try it.

@Raquel.. it's exciting, but we are sort of cheating, since the little farmhouse has everything we could ever want and then some more... the house its beautiful in pictures, I can imagine that it will be ten times better when we are there.

November 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonica

Monica, This apple bread sounds and looks really yummy! I love the farmhouse idea...I wish you and Tom a blessed and awesome Thanksgiving!!

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamCyn

it looks quite good! specially with the glaze on top

December 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeti

Quick question - do you think it would work OK if I made this in mini disposable loaf pans and left them in the pans - or should I remove them to cool and rewrap to gift? Just wondering if they'd be soggy or hold up OK. Thoughts?

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

@ Kelly...yes, you can do this. I have done it. In fact I baked them and gave them away for Thanksgiving at my office.. and they were totally a hit. The trick is to let the caramel dry on top, before you package them out... but even if the caramel goes a little soft.. who does not like caramel every which way?

Good luck.. and whomever you are giving them too... LUCKY! they are going to love them

December 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonica

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