This recipe comes to you courtesy of Crisco. Funny story. Last week I was enjoying the cooling evening breeze wafting thru my open window with a beverage in my hand and my love by my side when I heard frantic calls of “Tonya! Tonya!” coming from over the fence. My adorable neighbor (and her daughter) were beckoning me to come over. “Quick! Baking emergency! Come over!” they hollered and then disappeared back into their house. So, off I darted to the house next door to see what was up. I’m embarrassed to say that I brought my drink with me. It was hot out, the drink was fresh and far be it from me to let a perfectly cold cocktail go to waste. “Baking emergency” could mean anything from a massive grease fire in the oven, to salt being used liberally as a seasoning in a batch of cookies. I had no idea what I was walking in to…but, with my beverage in hand I was ready for anything.
When I arrived in their kitchen, I saw what the fuss was about. Hellen and Melanie were preparing for the twins first birthday and, in addition to many dozens of regular sized cupcakes, they were attempting to make two giant cupcakes for the babies to smash on their big day. Holding up a silicone jumbo cupcake pan (with chunks of cake sticking to the edges), my sweet neighbor moaned “Look at this mess!”. She showed me the finished product on the counter which was beyond repair in several pieces. Now, I learned many years ago from a scenario just like this that you always, always, always grease and flour your pan when baking a cake. Or bread. Or muffins. Always. I don’t care if the recipe doesn’t tell you to. I don’t even care if the recipe specifically says you don’t have to. It takes two minutes and will save you mountains of ingredients and precious time in the long run. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting your energy on a product that remains half stubbornly clinging to the inside of your pan.
It was then that I introduced my friends to Crisco. The magical releaser of all baked goods. I ran back to my house, grabbed my mondo sized tub of it and dashed back next door. My husband was so confused. All he saw was a streak freckles running thru the house, grabbing the can and heading right back out the door. I’m sure he had visions of someone’s arm stuck in a jar or something. Two perfectly baked (with no-sticking!) giant cupcakes later, here’s the moral of this story. Grease your pans with Crisco. It never fails. A little rub down with the white magic and a flick of flour and you can’t lose.
Take this recipe for example. It originally only called for spraying the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Not the sides, and no flour. I can almost guarantee following those instructions would have led to a very pissed off Bakerlady. Instead, I used my trusty blue can and got two delightfully easy to remove loaves of spiced sweet bread.
This is boy bread. As in, it has nuts. I know, hilarious right? I got that from a reader’s comment – you guys come up with the best stuff! If you’d like to leave out the nuts, feel free. Since this recipe makes two loaves it’s very easy to just do half the pecans called for and make one a girl loaf (no nuts). Then you get one of each! Whenever I make something with nuts, I try to sprinkle a few on top as well- just in case anyone has allergies, I’d hate for them to unknowingly eat something that will make them sick. And, it looks purr-ty too.
The glaze adds the perfect sweetness to this bread. It is an amazing autumn loaf. Apples and cinnamon? Oh yeah. Autumn awesome. So why did I made it on the hottest day of the year (so far) in Seattle? Because I’m ready for fall. It is my favorite season. I adore everything about it. This bread baking made my house remind me of crisp crackling leaves and cozy sweaters. It was delightful. Nom, nom, nom.
Glazed Caramel Apple Bread
a Betty Crocker Recipe, found on Pass The Sushi
1 1/2 cups shredded peeled baking apples (2 large)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with Crisco.
In large bowl, stir together apples, 1 cup brown sugar, the buttermilk, oil and eggs. Stir in remaining bread ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into pans.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.
Gradually stir powdered sugar into glaze mixture. Beat with spoon until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. If glaze becomes too stiff, stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, or heat over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle glaze over loaves. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.