Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Freezer Chronicles: What to make first?

The answer: Always dessert. Always.
I started really kicking this cooking meals to freeze thing into high gear a few days ago, upon realizing that there is a possibility that the baby will be here by the end of the month, and I will not be prepared at all. So I began prepping. And where does any really good plan come together? Dessert. Once I got a few giant logs of nut-less toll house cookie dough made, wrapped, and freezered, I decided it was time to try some new freezable goodies. Of course, I have to try them before I can freeze them, so I'm gonna gift you with  my apple cinnamon bread semi-fail, so you can use better judgement and make it the right way. 

These were my two logs of cookie dough, before I started eating them for breakfast. Now one's half the size. Don't judge.

I found this recipe floating around on facebook, and decided it might be a nice fall treat for the fam. Here's the original:

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

But are you ready? Cuz you knew there was a catch. I changed it a lot, and it didn't turn out spectacularly. Here's what I used differently:
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar (I think...I know I added too much is all)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, to make up for the too much brown sugar (*note that this was a good combo though. If you're gonna go to town on something, make it cinnamon sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla. I like a little more vanilla. I don't this this caused any problems
  • I used wheat flour in place of the all-purpose stuff. This might have contributed a little to the slightly gummy texture my bread ended up having. I recommend using half of each kind of flour. 
  • I used two apples, and they were big. This is where I think I made my big mistake. Apples have a lot of moisture in them. They can make a baked good not do what you want it to. Stick with the one apple, especially if it's big. If you want a little more nutrition, add a handful of chopped nuts, some ground flaxseed, or a few raisins to the topping. Don't go apple crazy. 
  • The bread was clearly not done at even the 40 minute mark. It baked for like an hour, but with all of the moisture, it still could have used a little more time. Be forewarned.

It helps to have a kitchen helper who insists on wearing cat ears and questions why you bother to grease and flour the pan.
Have your kitchen helper do the apple layers (this is the perfect task for little hands). Just don't do like I did and use too many apples. Then your bread will turn out gummy but delicious the next day after some time spent in the fridge.

After both layers of batter, then apples and crumb (do that twice). Looks good enough to eat already, no?
Finished product. A little underbaked, but you'll live. Just bake longer if you make any changes, like adding way more apples than is necessary.

So am I going to make this and freeze it? Probably. It was pretty easy, and kept me and Stenni busy for a little while on an otherwise dead afternoon. I will just kind of go back to the original recipe, or at least make a few less drastic changes. Also, it's pretty good cold. Hubs said it tasted like apple pie but bread, and he liked it, so at least that's a plus and I know someone will eat it rather than starve! 

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