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Baking Organization 101 and Caramel Apple Bread

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For this post, I want to share about how I keep all of my baking supplies organized. I have one of those husbands who might be called unique. He needs things around him to be organized or he can’t sit still. I realize this is kind of a strange quality in a man, but I do love it most of the time. My baking supplies used to be in two overhead cabinets above the stove, crammed in with no space and no way to find anything. When Maddy Lu started, things were getting even messier. That’s when I decided I needed to do something- for my marriage and cabinets. My baking life after organizing has been so much easier! I will share how I keep my supplies and where I got the ideas along with some pictures:

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All of my baking supplies are organized in a large basket from Target. It was around $20 for the basket. It just so happened that everything fits perfectly!
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If you notice inside of my basket I have homemade vanilla. You can use any container, but I find that one with a spout is best. Use 4 vanilla beans for every one cup of alcohol you use (I used cheap Vodka that I bought at a liquor store when I was almost 8 months pregnant. No, the cashier did not bat an eye to sell it to me). Shake the bottle a couple of times a week and in a few months you will have your own vanilla. (Package it in smaller bottles for great gifts!) If you peek behind the vanilla in this picture you can see a bit of my container garden I have growing on the back deck. It got a little swamped with the rain we had this weekend.
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You can make a mason jar into anything (just look up ‘mason jars’ on pinterest… it will prove my theory.) I fitted the lid of a salt container under the ring of the mason jar and it pours just like normal, but can be filled with anything. I have several of these in my pantry. They’re great for grains like rice or couscous. They also keep humidity out of salt in the summer.

Since today was a cool, rainy day, I felt like it would be a great day to bake something delicious. I saw a recipe for apple bread a while back, and it caught my eye so I figured I’d give it a try and then share with our Maddy Lu readers (do we have those?). Here are some pictures of the journey, and the recipe below.

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Start with some good apples. We buy organic through Suburban Organics and it saves us some money on good food. You only need two medium sized for this recipe.
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Here’s my apple peeler! It isn’t an ancient torture device, though it may look like it. Yard sale find last year for $2, but it’s saved me tons of time and energy peeling and slicing apples.
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There goes that apple peeler working it’s magic. Anyone have an good ideas for what to do with the long strings of apple skin you get? Maybe a pretty pie topper.
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Oh yes. And it is so good, not to mention good looking. And this recipe makes two loaves which is nice for freezer cooking!

Recipe comes from Passthesushi.com (http://passthesushi.com/caramel-glazed-apple-bread)

Bread:

  • 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 AP flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray or shortening.

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. Place saucepan of glaze in bowl of cold water. 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.

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