This has just been a dreamy weekend. Paul and I had a fabulous date night on Friday consisting of a deliciously kick arse dinner, stroll up State Street admiring the Christmas loveliness, and a capping it off with crazy good cup of hot chocolate (I tend to be such a snob when it comes to hot chocolate ~ it has to be creamy, true chocolatiness, and topped with real whipped cream; otherwise don’t even bother).
Anyway, I digress. Saturday started with a hot and sweaty yoga class that I barely survived, a sinful breakfast burrito, late afternoon wine with my brother and sister-in-law at a super cool spot in the Funk Zone, and ended with a fire at home, the candles lit, the Christmas tree sparkling, house pants on, and stone fired pizza.
I woke up this morning with excited anticipation to make this new recipe I found. Apples and homemade pecan praline??? Now you’re talking my language! What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let me tell you what went wrong… when trying to turn out the bread, the loaf pan slipped right out of the kitchen towel I was using to keep my hand from burning and abruptly splattered all over the kitchen floor. Oops!
Note to self: when trying to turn over a hot bread pan, use a sticky surface to save your hand and the loaf of bread.
I shared this story with Nicole, my amazing baking/cook friend in Seattle, and she quickly said, “As Julia Child might do, nonchalantly look down, pick up the bread, and eat it.” Um, is it wrong that that’s exactly what Paul and I did? Even without the praline, it was yummy!
I will be attempting this (hopefully successfully) next weekend.
Praline-Apple Bread (care of myrecipes.com)
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (divided), 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb.), 1/2 cup butter
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 4 minutes. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).
Note: To freeze, cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.