Amanda Skiba: Apple bread not easy on waistline but tastes great
This is not a healthy, heart-friendly recipe, but it sure is tasty. While I substitute some fat with yogurt, there is still plenty of sugar in the “apple pie filling” and the brown sugar topping to affect your waistline. So that I can avoid those waistline issues, I keep a few slices for me (and my family) and bring the rest to my fellow co-workers to bring smiles to their faces in the middle of the week. Given the beginning of Autumn, and the abundance of apples around town (no kidding, I recently saw a box full of apples in someone’s front yard marked “free”) a recipe with apples seemed fitting to kick off the start of fall.Fall comes around, and so does the canning and baking bug. So far, I’ve made apple pie filling to keep on hand in the freezer, apple butter using the slow cooker and now this wonderful apple bread. Cooking and baking with the kids is always fun around this time of year as well, making caramel apples, caramel corn and homemade candies (peanut butter cups, maybe?). Fall traditions are fun too, visiting Apple Hill, Corley Ranch and Lattin Farms. Harvest festivals are always on my list.Encouraging my fall excitement, I decided to share a recipe to celebrate fall flavors. Brown sugar is one of my favorite ingredients, after chocolate of course, and it reminds me so much of baking and caramel, so it only made sense to make this apple bread using all brown sugar. The comforting smell of spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and apples will fill your house with the smell of fall. Hopefully this helps with what to do with the abundance of apples you or your neighbors may have.Peeling apples: I peel the apples and put them in a bowl filled with water and the juice of a lemon. Once I’ve peeled all the apples, I dry them, then I core and dice them.Bread:1⁄2 stick softened butter1⁄2 cup brown sugar1 cup flour1⁄2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon baking powder1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamonPinch each of nutmeg and ground cloves1 egg1⁄2 cup vanilla yogurt1⁄2 cup chopped pecans1⁄2 tablespoon vanillaHeat oven to 350 degrees.Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray or butter. Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer. Mix in the egg. In separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating with the yogurt — make sure to start with flour and end with flour.Fold in the “filling” (see recipe below). Pour batter into loaf pan and top with the crumble topping (see recipe below).Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes or until tester comes out of the center of loaf clean. Let cool in the loaf pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack. Let the loaf cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with butter. Enjoy.‘Filling’:11⁄2 cups apples (about 3 medium apples), peeled, cored, and diced1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup brown sugar1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamonPinch nutmeg and ground clovesMix the sugar and spices together, then toss with the diced apples.Top with crumble topping.Crumble:1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour1⁄2 cup brown sugar1⁄4 cup oatmeal1 teaspoon cinnamon1⁄2 stick butterMix together with your fingertips until crumbly.Notes: This could also be used for muffins. Pour into muffin liners in a muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.•Amanda Skiba is passionate about cooking and posts her favorite recipes at http://www.stuffurface.wordpress.com.