2 Apple Recipes

 Happy Tuesday!

I have embarked on the 30 Before 30 adventure (see the tab to see my updates), and it’s been a great challenge to fit in these little goals in between a hectic season at work and in life. 🙂 But it’s happening!

And there’s nothing more comforting, home-y and delightful on cold winter days and nights than apple treats. I have 2 for you today, and they’re not my original recipes but * of course * I modified them a little for you. One is TOO EASY, a dessert, can be made with FOUR ingredients, and is great for your family or a last-minute dinner party. The second is hearty, healthy and really delicious (ignore the word BRAN, one of the ugliest words in the English language, ha). This can be a breakfast food, snack or dessert and freezes beautifully for keeping on hand. Let’s bake!

Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze
From The Comfort of Cooking

Yield: Makes 1 loaf (serves 6-8)


For Apple Pie Pull Apart Bread:
Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1 (16 oz.) tube Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced

For Vanilla Glaze: (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk, any kind
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a shallow dish and set aside.

Step 2: Remove biscuits from tube and slice each in half, creating 16 rounds. Coat each round and each apple slice with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and layer in the loaf pan, alternating biscuit rounds with apple slices. Begin and end with the biscuit rounds on the ends.

Step 3: Bake for 40 minutes, or until bread is fully baked throughout.

For Vanilla Glaze:
Step 4: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and drizzle over warm bread.

Eat with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of glaze on top!

Apple Almond {Bran} Muffins
From The New Laurel’s Kitchen 

Bran. The word just sounds like eating cardboard. But these muffins are so not cardboard. You’ll want to grab a piece of cardboard to make a big, colorful sign proclaiming your love for these {bran?} muffins. They’re just that tasty…with a surprising orange flavor and filled with lots of apple-y goodness, these muffins will be a hit with all haters of bran. Serve for breakfast, a snack or as dessert.
Makes 12 muffins, easily doubles

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the following using a fork:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    So many apple bits inside!
  • 3/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind (or 1 orange)
  • About 1 cup chopped apple (1 medium apple)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (or other nut)
  • No, I did not write a cookbook. But this is a fun one. 🙂
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Step 2: In a second bowl, combine the following:

  • Juice of 1/2 orange (eat the other half!)
  • 7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk (skim milk + 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar did the trick)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar or 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Step 3: Stir the “wet bowl” into the “dry bowl” with a few swift strokes. Pour into greased muffin cups (at least 2/3 full cups) and bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy the bran.

Happy apple-ing!


Zucchini Bread

Sometimes I wonder if I like bread more than anyone else on this earth.

Then I assure myself I am not, while I indulge in yet another slice of whole wheat toast or banana bread and give the trophies to the founder of La Madeleine’s croissants, Domino’s buttery dough and of course Ms. Cinnabon herself. Breaking bread is crucial for community, and eating bread is necessary for life. The bread choices that we make, however, can give us nutrients or assist our bulging waistlines.

Zucchini bread…ever had it? I had not. But when a cute little farm girl told me about it one day at work, I was thoroughly intrigued. And, apparently, it is common to make when you have an abundance of zucchini squash from your farm…or urban garden. Cha-ching. We don’t have a garden right now, but we do have a great farmer’s market. Check. I was excited about baking one of my favorite veggies into a sweet breakfast bread. Matt–a newish zucchini consumer–was skeptical.

Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Simple Bites
This sweet bread is full of healthy zucchini, moist and delicious for breakfast, snack or dessert. The mild zucchini taste will convert even the most skeptical of squash eaters. For a surprising treat, add semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Makes 1 loaf + 12 muffins, or 20 muffins

Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon (or 1 Tablespoon pre-ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TB plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups finely grated zucchini (2 1/2 zucchinis)
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks/chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with papers OR oil a mini loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped chocolate.
  4. Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups (or mini loaf pan) and pour the rest into the 9Ă—4 loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Serve warm and store in a zipper bag or foil in the fridge.

Happy eating!


Cinnamon Raisin Bread

To be quite honest, mushy raisins give me the creeps. But dried raisins that are chewy are so delicious. It’s something about the texture. Is there a food that makes you cringe when you think of biting into it, purely because of texture and not taste?

This bread is so rewarding. You boil raisins in a cinnamon sugar bath so they get soft. Then you sprinkle the raisins inside and on top of the bread. In the oven, the raisins puff up, then bake down and get back to their chewy texture. And, in the meantime, this bread gets huge and lovely! Try it. I’m enjoying the challenge of yeast and finding that baking is really easy to do while you’re at home with family, watching TV, or doing laundry or other world-changing activities simultaneously! Multitasking has never been tastier.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Simplified From The Joy of Cooking (75th anniversary, p 597-8)
Makes one large 9X5 loaf, but easily doubled
This classic bread was originally created by Henry David Thoreau, the noted author and philosopher. It is moist, spiced with cinnamon and great any time of the day. Dried cranberries can be used instead of raisins, if you like.

3 TB warm water, 105-115 degrees F

1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 t.)
1 cup warm milk, 105-115 degrees F
5 TB butter or margarine, melted
3 TB sugar
1 egg
1 t. salt
4 cups all-purpose or bread flour

1/2 to 1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
1 TB cinnamon
Brush on top: 1 TB margarine/butter + 1 TB cinnamon + 3 TB sugar

1 Make the dough: In a large bowl (your mixer bowl works), combine 3 TB warm water and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes, or until yeast dissolves. Then, add milk, butter, sugar, egg and salt. Mix (by hand or mixer) for one minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour. Gradually add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of flour until dough is moist but not sticky. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Don’t you love mixers for this part? If you don’t have a mixer, I am thoroughly jealous of your biceps.)

2 Multitask: Move the dough to an oiled bowl and turn once to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size. The warm place should be 75-85 degrees, without a draft. Now make the filling.

3 Filling: In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the raisins and about 1/2 inch of cold water. Bring to a boil, drain all but 1-2 TB of water, and add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 TB cinnamon. Stir until sugar melts. Grease a 9X5 bread pan. Punch down the dough and separate it into two pieces (per loaf). Put one piece of dough in bread pan and spread out. Layer 2/3 of the raisin mixture. Then add second piece of dough and spread out. Top with the rest of the raisins. Cover loosely and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

4 Bake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. In the meantime…In a small bowl, combine 1 TB melted butter, 1 TB of cinnamon and 3 TB sugar. After taking out of the oven, brush with the cinnamon mixture. Serve warm, toasted or cool. Refrigerate or freeze after making.

How great is this bread??? I hope you love it. Happy, happy day, friends.

Happy eating!


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