Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Caramel-Apple Bread

My favorite desserts usually involved apples.  For my birthday each year I'm usually untraditional and go for an apple cake.  My mom-in-law, Eloise, is a wonderful baker and is my "cake lady".  Apples...warm...cinnamon...mmm!  Anyway...back to the coffee cake...

We had an Afternoon Tea at church for our widows a few weeks ago.  Even though I couldn't attend I knew I wanted something very special to make for these sweet ladies at our church.  My friend, Sandra, told me about making this recipe from Southern Living so I knew it would be delicious.  I hope you enjoy!

4 big apples (enough to get 3 cups chopped apples)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinammon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Peel and finely chop enough remaining apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside. 
Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended. (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and pecans.  Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Makes 2 (9-inch) loaves. Prep: 20 min., Bake: 1 hr.

For a variation of this recipe make a coffee cake.  Prepare recipe without pecans.  Everything else will be the same except make a wonderful Caramel Frosting to be drizzled on the cakes.

Quick Caramel Frosting

1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat.  Stir in pecans and drizzle over cakes.

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