Apple Twist Bread

My favorite season is autumn, and I’m so happy that it is upon us! Living in the Midwest, we really learn to appreciate the changing of the seasons. Nature provides us with the most spectacular show- the changing colors of the trees! At the moment, our front and back yard is littered with literally hundreds of dead leaves, but I would be lying if I said that it bothered me.

With autumn comes it’s wonderful produce- apples and pumpkins! I love baking with both, and I truly look forward to it once the weather changes. We went apple picking recently, and these Apple Twist Breads were the result of said harvest. I made these last year as well and they were a hit. I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour, and it was a part of their September Bakealong Challenge as well. These are amazing as is, but their amazingness is elevated when you warm them up a bit…Speaking from experience, you know 😉

 

 

Apple Twist Bread

Yield: 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Filling:

  • 1 cup peeled and grated apple
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Make Dough:

In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. Once the dough comes together, increase speed to medium and knead until the soft and smooth, but still a bit sticky, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, about 2 hours.

Make Filling:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apple begins to release its juices. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Cook, while stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Assemble Bread:

Set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two portions, and work with one portion at a time. Roll each portion out into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the apple filling evenly over both rectangles, leaving a ½-inch margin along the edges.

Starting with the long side, roll up the rectangles into logs, pinching the ends together to seal.   Using a sharp knife, cut the logs in half lengthwise. Place two of the half-logs, cut-side facing upwards, on prepared baking sheet. Keeping the filling-side face up braid the two logs together, pinching the ends together. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping several inches space between both loaves. Cover lightly and set aside until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake loaves until lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour before applying glaze.

Make Glaze:

Combine all ingredients (start with 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, and add more as needed) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the loaves.

 

Note: Leftover bread can be stored loosely wrapped at room temperature.

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Daring Bakers: Whoopie Pies- Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Buttercream Filling

It’s that time of the month again!  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month.  The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.

The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!”

I was so excited for this month’s challenge! I don’t know why, but lately I had been in a baking rut.  When the challenge was posted in the Daring Bakers Forum on the 1st of the month, I made the whoopie pies the very next day!  While I hadn’t seem them very much while I lived in California, I do seem them around quite a bit here in the Midwest.  I decided to make a Chocolate Whoopie Pie, with a recipe provided by our hostess (which is a King Arthur favorite), and instead of the traditional Marshmallow filling, I opted for a light buttercream.  The recipe for the buttercream filling is courtesy of Annie’s Eats, and it truly makes a wonderful contrast against the deeply chocolate cookies sandwiching it.

My son, husband, and I absolutely loved these! This month’s challenge was definitely a home run, and I can’t wait to try other flavor combinations in the near future (banana whoopie pie with a cream cheese or caramel filling is going to grace our home soon)! 😀

ChocolateWhoopiePiePic

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

With Buttercream Filling

Yield:  1½ to 2 Dozen Pies

Ingredients:

For Whoopie Pies:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cocoa, sifted
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk

For Buttercream Filling:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions:

Make Whoopie Pies:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and set aside two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.  Add egg and beat until smooth.  Add cocoa and stir to combine.  Add all-purpose flour and milk alternately, and stir until thoroughly combined.

Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe 1-tablespoon sized mounds onto the baking sheets, being sure to keep at least 2 inches of space between each mound.  With a damp finger, lightly pat the tops of the cakes to flatten and even them out.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make Filling:

In a large bowl, whip butter over medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Mix in vanilla and heavy cream on low speed until just incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes, making sure to stop a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Transfer filling to a piping bag.

To assemble the cookies, match them up in pairs by size.  Pipe filling onto the flat side of one cookie, and then place the second cookie on top to create a sandwich.

Leftovers may be refrigerated.