Apple Cider Brie Bread

Montana continues to torment me with gorgeous days in the 40s before it kicks back up to nearly 70 again. I am ready for soup and sweaters, dangit. Fortunately this recipe is delicious independent of outdoor temps, so we can enjoy it all year round.

I’ve been making whole wheat beer bread for years, largely as way to use up beer taking up space since I don’t care for it in beverage form. Last year while planning my April grilled cheese series, I debated an apple and cheese combination but ultimately went in another direction. (I may revisit this series next April, stay tuned.) However, it reminded me of the perfect pairing of apple and brie, and it stuck in my mind as something to work in another area. With a garage overwhelmed with hard ciders (I am really bad at drinking, guys) and no reason any beer-esque beverage shouldn’t work, I modified it to utilize some of those bottles.

My test batch I made exactly as one would with regular beer (well, with less sugar), and was surprised at how much I loved it. With a much more subtle taste than a beer bread, it makes a great side dish for anything where you are looking for a more neutral flavor. Goes great with chicken soup, tomato soup, or anything you’d normally pair with beer bread. If I’m honest, I make this version a lot more often than the beer version, just because it’s so much more versatile in its complements.

However I felt I could improve the individual bread experience, and set out to do just that. With the addition of grated apple and diced Brie, it turns the bread into something to enjoy all by itself. It’s a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack, and is delicious toasted and plain, or with a light spread of tart jam or peanut butter. Unlike beer bread, this version also pairs well with tea, which is nice for those of us that don’t drink coffee late in the day (or at all…weirdos).

So whether autumn has truly arrived or not, comfort yourself with a tasty batch of cider bread, and toast (wink wink) to the new season.

Apple Cider Brie Bread

Adapted from Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Makes one 9×5″ loaf

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 (12 oz) can or bottle hard cider

1 medium apple, grated (no need to core or peel; just pick out the seeds while you’re grating)
4 oz Brie cheese, diced (leave out to keep vegan)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour in the cider and stir until completely combined.
  4. Gently fold in apple and cheese.
  5. Scrape into the prepared pan, smoothing the top as best you can.
  6. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out crumb-free.
  7. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Excellent solo or lightly toasted and spread with a tart jam.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins {{Baking Bytes}}Hello hello. Hope your year is going splendidly. So far January has been pretty good and I’m looking forward to February. Hopefully winter will come back as our ski area could definitely use some more snow. But it’s open so I’m not complaining too much. Last week I ran in shorts which is a little strange for January in Montana, so I wouldn’t mind if it cooled down a bit.

Apple cinnamon muffins with crumb topping

Apple cinnamon muffins with crumb topping

In any case, I’ve been in an apple mood the last couple weeks and while I was deciding what to make I recalled the muffins I made during a semester abroad in Scotland. All I could remember is that the recipe was on allrecipes.com and there was a crazy amount of apple in it. And it took forever to chop it all by hand. After some dedicated searching, some slight modifications, and two batches of muffins, I have the recipe here to share.

Apple cinnamon muffins with raw sugar topping

Apple cinnamon muffins with raw sugar topping

These muffins are moist and bursting with apples. A sweet topping (if you want) and the addition of cinnamon make these a lovely treat or breakfast for any time of the year. Chopping the apples will be very quick if you employ the use of a corer/peeler contraption, but even by hand it’s definitely worth the effort.

Apple cinnamon muffins sans topping.

Apple cinnamon muffins sans topping.

The original recipe calls for a sugar crumb topping which is excellent, but the muffins are also great with just a dusting of raw sugar or just plain. I imagine they’d also be great with some regular cinnamon and sugar on top although I haven’t tried this. I promise to do so next time.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins {{Baking Bytes}}

Whatever weather has graced your corner of the world, these muffins will be a delicious addition to your day.

Note: This is not a recipe to use up old apples. The apple is VERY prominent so make sure you pick good ones that you’d be fine eating plain.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Adapted from AllRecipes
Makes 12-15 muffins

Ingredients

Muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg

2 apples

Topping:
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Liberally grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Peel, core, and chop the apples into small pieces. Set aside.
  5. If desired, mix the topping ingredients with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture comes together. It should be well mixed but crumbly.
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients, and gently mix with a spatula until moistened. Batter will be thick.
  7. Gently stir in the apples until they are evenly distributed. Apple to batter ratio will look very high, but this is normal.
  8. Fill muffin wells 2/3 – 3/4 full and sprinkle with topping mix, raw sugar, or leave plain.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Notes

I used jazz apples because that’s what I had on hand, but any green or pinkish variety should be great.