Cinnamon Applesauce Bread with Roasted Caramel Apples
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Serves: 2 loaves
 
I will admit that this recipe took three tries before it hit the mark. The first attempt was OK but lacked fresh apple flavor. With the second attempt I added so much fresh apple for flavor that the end result was more like a brick than a bread, and the only person who would consider eating it was my mother, Neeners. Back to the drawing board, and pulled the reins in a little on the fresh apple element. Now we had ourselves a moist applesauce bread with just enough fresh apple kick. Never satisfied, it seems, I figured what’s the harm in roasting some apple slices and piling them right on top of each slice? All that was well and good, but it needed a finishing touch – enter the best and easiest caramel sauce you’ve ever made. Drizzle it or drench it over the whole works – up to you. I, for one, drench. Happiness on a plate.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CINNAMON APPLESAUCE BREAD
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh grated apple – probably about 2 regular sized apples (peel and grate the apple on a box grater or in a food processor, then squeeze all the apple juice you can out of the grated apples. Set aside.)
  • ½ cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • FOR THE ROASTED APPLES
  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced (I used Granny Smith apples because they hold together so well and are nice and tart)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (using dark brown sugar instead of regular brown sugar gives your caramel sauce a deeper brown color)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brandy, rum, or whatever you like (optional)
Instructions
  1. FOR THE CINNAMON APPLESAUCE BREAD
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Generously spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Stir in the grated fresh apple (remember – you have squeezed that grated apple as hard as you can to get rid of as much apple juice as possible).
  6. In a medium sized bowl, combine the canola oil, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
  7. Mix into the dry ingredients until well combined.
  8. Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. If you want to get fancy, sprinkle the top with some cinnamon sugar.
  9. Bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean – it took mine about an hour and 10 minutes. Be SURE the bread is done, or you will end up with a kind of gooey mess which would be very unfortunate.
  10. Remove from oven when done and rest on a cooling rack for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on cooling rack until you can’t stand it anymore and have to taste it. For me, this is about 10 minutes so don’t feel guilty if you can’t wait much longer. However, it’s really the best idea to let the whole loaf cool before you go cutting into it.
  11. FOR THE ROASTED APPLES
  12. Line a cookie sheet with foil to avoid a clean-up mess later.
  13. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  14. In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Toss them around until all the apples are covered.
  15. Lay the apples in one layer on the baking sheet and bake until apples are softened and start to turn golden brown on the edges. This took mine about 20-25 minutes.
  16. NOTE: I sometimes spray the apples with some canola oil so avoid them drying out on top. If you’ve got a little spray bottle of oil, you might give it a try. You can also give the tops a quick spray with cooking spray.
  17. When apples are done, remove from oven and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.
  18. FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
  19. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
  20. Whisk in the flour and dark brown sugar.
  21. Slowly stir in the whipping cream and cook over medium heat until the mixture boils. Allow to boil for one minute to cook off any raw flour taste.
  22. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and alcohol.
  23. Trust me – you are going to eat this the minute it comes off the stove. It will look and smell amazing, but if you value your taste buds, please wait a few minutes or you will burn them off….but it might be worth it.
  24. Caramel Sauce Recipe Adapted from The New Ark Cookbook
Recipe by Bird's Nest Bites at https://birdsnestbites.com/cinnamon-applesauce-bread-with-roasted-caramel-apples/