Marbled Chocolate Apple Bread

Marbled Chocolate Apple Bread

Marbled Chocolate Apple Bread

The temperatures have really started to drop here. Earlier this week, the temperatures were in the 40’s. Now they are in the 20’s. It hasn’t snowed yet, but they are saying that it may this weekend. I’m not really quite ready for snow, but I suppose it’s bound to happen sooner or later, and the cooler temperatures do make me want to bake more.

Today I had one lonely Granny Smith apple sitting in my fruit bin, that I had no idea what to do with. After combing through several recipe books, I finally decided to use it in this Marbled Chocolate Apple Bread. The recipe is adapted from a Cinnamon-Swirled Quick Bread recipe that I posted on this blog a few years ago.

The apple and chocolate flavors pair well together in this bread, and some of the apples even retained their firmness, which adds a delightful crunch. It’s a perfect bread to enjoy with a nice cup of hot coffee or tea on a chilly day.


Marbled Chocolate Apple Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup baking cocoa
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & diced (approx. 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil. Add egg, 1 cup milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients and stir until moistened.

Remove 1/2 cup batter and place in a small bowl. Add baking cocoa and 1/2 tablespoon milk to batter. Stir until combined.

Fold diced apple into batter in large bowl. (not the batter with the cocoa in it)

Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread cocoa batter on top. Cover with remaining batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf.

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

I fear that the Autumn season is very close to ending here in Alaska. For the past few days, it has looked like it could start snowing out at any minute, and almost every tree has lost its leaves.

Even though it looks like we’re about to head into the Winter season, I’m still hoping that Autumn hangs on a little longer, because I still have a bunch of Fall recipes I’d like to whip up.

Speaking of Fall recipes, here’s a tasty muffin that is perfect for this time of year – Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins!

The pumpkin and cranberries pair beautifully together in this muffin, and the oats add great texture. And, what’s not to love about streusel topping. It’s the “icing on the cake” – or muffin, in this case. 😉


Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 envelopes Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
1/2 cup Craisins dried cranberries

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon butter, cold

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 12 muffin tins, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, pumpkin puree, milk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Stir in oatmeal and craisins.

Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.

For topping: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle one rounded teaspoon of topping over each muffin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza

Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza

Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza

I visited my local Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday, and found some wonderful Apple Caramel Pie K-cups for my Keurig coffee machine. The caramel apple flavor was so yummy, that it inspired me to bake this delicious Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza.

Apple & caramel are two of my favorite flavors this time of year. I just wish I could figure out why I love caramel apple coffee, and caramel apple desserts, but I’m not very fond of caramel apples – whole apples dipped in caramel.

I suppose I’ll figure it out some day, but in the meantime, I’m going to have another cup of coffee and another serving of dessert pizza. 😉


Caramel Apple Dessert Pizza

1 cup Krusteaz Pie Crust Mix
2-3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons butter
6 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Caramel Sauce:
20 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk

Streusel Topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, cold

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For Crust: Place pie crust mix in a small bowl. Sprinkle water (one tablespoon at a time) over mix while tossing with a fork, until moistened. Form dough into a ball. Flatten into round on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Place dough onto a 12-inch pizza pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.

For Apples: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté for 6 minutes, or until apples are just tender. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute, or until sugar melts. Set aside.

For Caramel Sauce: Microwave caramels and milk in a microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1-1/2 minutes, or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until well blended. Cool 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

For Streusel Topping: In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

Putting it all together: Spread caramel sauce over baked pie crust. Arrange apple slices over caramel layer. Sprinkle streusel topping over apple slices.
Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until apples are tender.

For Glaze: combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over pizza; if desired.

Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

Happy Friday!! Is everyone ready for the weekend? I know I am.

Here’s a quick and easy treat for you to whip up for breakfast or brunch this weekend – Sticky Buns!

These soft, flaky biscuits are coated with butter and syrup, and then smothered with brown sugar and spices. They’re sweet, sticky, gooey, and oh so delicious.

In fact, these sticky buns are so good, I often find myself snacking on them throughout the whole day. 😉


Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 can jumbo refrigerated biscuits (like Pillsbury Grands biscuits)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Log Cabin syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Place biscuit pieces into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, syrup and vanilla. Pour mixture over biscuit pieces and gently stir to coat evenly.

Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared tube pan. Arrange biscuit pieces evenly over brown sugar. Top with remaining sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool for 1 minute in the pan, then invert onto a serving platter.

Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

Quick and Easy Sticky Buns

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

There’s a little coffee house I go to every once in a while, that serves the best “spicy” mocha. They blend espresso with chocolate, cinnamon and chiles, and the result is just wonderful. I always look forward to the first sip, when the cinnamon and chiles first hit my taste buds. It’s a drink that is certain to warm you up on a cold day.

I thought I would try to replicate the taste of the spicy mocha drink in this Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze. I mixed cinnamon and chili powder into the batter of this rich, dark chocolate cake, and I must say that I was overjoyed with the results. The cake is moist and delicious, and the cinnamon and chili powder add a slight “kick”, but they’re not overpowering.


Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda and salt. Mix with a whisk until well blended.

Pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and cold water on top of the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly blended, but do not over-mix.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.
Drizzle with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze; if desired.

Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla extract and milk. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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