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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Treats Saturday: Caramel Apple Bread

This recipe is kind of cheating. I’ll admit, it’s not completely from scratch, but it’s one of my favorite quick recipes that I make during autumn.  It’s a great twist on a traditional harvest bread recipe and it’s so easy to do.

I started doing this variation years ago when I worked retail at Williams-Sonoma.  They have an apple bread recipe that they used to release seasonally (I think it’s still on a seasonal basis, though it might be an everyday item at this point).  Luckily, you can purchase apple bread mix at many grocery stores, so you don’t have to drop big bucks for this simple treat.  I picked up my mix from Trader Joe’s.

Here’s how it works:

  • Prep the batter according to the directions on the mix packet.  Unwrap individual caramels. You will probably only need 8-10 piece depending on how large your loaf pan is.

  • Butter or spray your baking pan.  Don’t skip this step as any caramel that touches the pan will stick, so if it is well sprayed, then you should have no worries when it comes time to release the loaf.
  • Pour the batter into the pan.  Place caramel pieces throughout the bread.  Do not push them down too far as they will sink/melt during the baking process.  You can coat them in flour, but I find that just gently pressing them into the batter eliminates this step.  Don’t place them too close together as you’ll end up with a big melted mess in the middle of your loaf.

  • Bake the bread as directed on the packet.  When checking for doneness, make sure you’re not inserting a toothpick into a caramel piece as you won’t get a proper idea of doneness.

I find this is best serves warm when the caramel is still gooey, but it is wonderful as leftovers as well.  I store it in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days… if it lasts that long.

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