This month's assignment brought me over to Family, Food, and Fun, a delicious blog written by Rebekah, an absolutely amazing woman. She has five absolutely adorable children and cooks and bakes beautifully. Reading her blog, it seems that we have similar approaches in how we feed our families (as much from scratch as possible and as many "real" ingredients as possible), so flipping through all of her posts was both fun and moutwatering.
I had a hard time (as always) choosing what to make, but found myself repeatedly drawn to her Caramel Glazed Apple Bread. Full of apple-y goodness and drizzled with caramel, how could I go wrong?
The only changes I made to the recipe were to eliminate the dairy aspects from it to make it a bit more little-man-friendly. While it does contain eggs, he can eat those baked into products like this. But I don't like to push my luck, so I like to try to make substitutions where I can. In this case, it was pretty straightforward - replace the buttermilk called for with coconut beverage. No problem. And I omitted the (optional) nuts, as well. Oh, and I took Rebekah's suggestion to add a bit of vanilla extract to the recipe - yum!
Little man helped me combine the dry ingredients...
...while I cracked the eggs and grated the apples.
The batter came together super easily, and was soon in the loaf pans, all ready for the oven.
And they baked up beautifully, all golden brown and yummy looking.
The only thing left to do was to make the caramel sauce. Now, the recipe calls for butter and milk. No problem, I thought. For the milk, more coconut milk. For the butter? I tried coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil, add brown sugar and stir, stir, stir.
Umm... yeah. We had a bit of a problem. The coconut oil melted easily. But the brown sugar didn't incorporate with it. No matter how much I mixed. All it did was...
...burn. Ew. Thank goodness it was a nice, mild day around here - I had to air out the house!
But a bit of fresh air (for the house, for the kids and for me, too!) gave me the breather I needed to try again. This time with Earth Balance buttery spread. This time it worked, and I had a delicious sauce ready to drizzle all over the now-cooled breads.
Oh my gosh, this was delicious. The bread itself is moist and delicious, with a nice apple flavor. And it isn't overly sweet, either - which is perfect, seeing as the caramel sauce is absolutely decadent. They pair together beautifully and make for a super delicious treat. We had this for dessert after dinner, then again for breakfast the next morning.
And I absolutely loved the color of the crumb of the bread - slightly pink and absolutely, invitingly appetizing. The second loaf went directly into the freezer so that we can enjoy it in a couple of weeks as a delicious treat.
Rebekah, thank you for your delicious and inspiring blog - I am so impressed with you and already have a list of other recipes I plan to make from your blog! (Including these S'mores On A Stick - I had something like that at a fair over the summer and they are so fun!)
Caramel Glazed Apple Bread
(from Family, Food, and Fun)
For the Bread:
1 1/2 cups apples, grated and peeled apples (I used Jonagold)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used coconut milk beverage)
1/4 cup canola oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
1/4 cup applesauce
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups white whole wheat flour (I used all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping:
2 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance buttery spread, a vegan alternative)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk (I used coconut milk beverage)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans with cooking spray or butter.
In a large bowl, stir together apples, the 1 cup of brown sugar, buttermilk (coconut milk), oil, applesauce, and eggs. In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until moistened. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
While the breads cool, prepare topping:
In a small saucepan, melt butter (or substitute) over medium heat. Stir in the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Boil and stir for another 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
Gradually stir powdered sugar into glaze mixture. Stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, as needed, if mixture is too thick. Beat until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.
Drizzle glaze over loaves.
Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to four days or refrigerate up to ten days.