Friday, March 25, 2011

Somethings Baking...Carrot Bread Recipe

I love sweet things. I love sugar. As a matter of fact,  I am  a lot like Will Farrell's character in ELF, I could live on the four food groups that he mentions, "candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." I could do without the candy canes and perhaps substitute sugar or high fructose corn syrup, now that I think about it. On the savory side, if my husband would be a little more flexible, I could exist on macaroni and cheese, pizza and grilled cheese. But that is a story for another day.

In any case, one of my favorite things to do besides travel, read and hang out with family and friends, is to bake. Unfortunately or fortunately, I guess it depends in how you look at it, my husband is not big into sweets. So my friends and my church are forced to eat the fruits of my labors whether they want to or not.

This is a recipe that I found in Better Homes and Gardens April Issue for  Carrot bread   Although the original recipe sounded great I made a few modifications to suit my taste. I am sure that however you make it, your family and friends and perhaps even the Easter Bunny will like it! It is very easy and a great alternative to banana bread, and you get the added benefit of a few vegetables and some fiber in your diet.

Original Recipe is as follows:

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom or nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded carrots
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil

1 recipe cream cheese icing

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease pans, this recipe is for one large loaf or 3 little loafs. For my purpose, which was to eat some and then give some away, I fill one large pan a little more than 1/2 full and then put the rest into a little loaf pan so that I can eat some right out of the oven.

Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry in another, then combine. Do not over mix, just stir until moistened. Pour batter into greased pans, and bake for 55-60 minutes large pan, or 30-35 minutes for the little pans. Be sure to keep and eye on your bread, some ovens cook faster. Test to see if done with a toothpick or a skewer or in a pinch a piece of dried spaghetti.

Assemble ingredients before you start. Just to be sure that you have everything. I have just started to do this because I have found that in the past I am craving something and I rush to the kitchen to make something only to find out that I am missing one of the key ingredients!

Bake for 50-55 minutes large pan, or 30-35 minutes small pan. When you remove them from the oven, resist the urge to cut them immediately, they are very hot and you do not want to burn yourself. I usually put them on a rack to cool for at least 5 minutes, and then turn them out of the pan to cool fully. At this point it is a great time to cut the little "sample" bread and to have a taste. Making a large loaf and a small one allows you to have some for yourself and some to share. Or if the recipe turns out fabulous than you can keep both for yourself!

As you can see, I did not really even let them rest for a photo opportunity, the little loaf is already missing it's end piece.

The modifications that I made to the recipe were to add the nutmeg instead of cardamom, I added almost a tablespoon of cinnamon, and 3 1/2 cups of carrots, and less oil. I also did not make the frosting recipe because I was freezing the extra loaf to mail to someone for Easter and I was lazy.

I hope you enjoy the bread!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Welcome to Pinecones and Acorns!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!