Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

I feel like recently I am trying to figure things out again, and by things I mean life.  I think this might just be because its summer and for some reason this time of year I always tend to do this.  I might have to blame this on summer vacations growing up, when it was really the time to be most creative, to really enjoy every second of every day, and to let your mind wander or sit by the pool and dream about what you wanted to do when you grew up.  Or maybe its just because I have been reading The Great Gatsby...

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
My horoscope last week said that I need to be chasing my dreams...I say how about a more definite step towards them?  It basically said now is the time, and ended with "How can you spread the word about what's most important to you?"  I think that's what I am doing right here...Right?  Spreading the word about my love for butter and sugar, of mixing them together to create something delicious (well hopefully delicious) to share and spread the love.  However, it is hard sometimes...I start to day dream about opening a bakery, then think about the money, and the competition, and how there are so many others out there dreaming of the same thing.  BUT I know that I can't let this keep me down, so in the mean time I will just keep practicing and dreaming...and really trying to narrow down exactly what I want, so that when it is the time I can leap.

So about this bread...I have been wanting to make it for at least a month.  Literally I had a page open on my IPhone with a link to this recipe for forever.  They totally suckered me in when they said it was like Amish friendship bread, but with out all the waiting or in my case finding someone who had the starter.  It reminds me a lot of my mom's sock-it-to-me cake, but in bread form.  It is sweet, moist, cinnamony and delicious.  Next time I will be adding pecans, but I wasn't sure how my brunch friends would feel about the addition of nuts, so I left them out.  I made one big loaf to serve during brunch after a 10K this past Saturday and a couple small ones to send home with people.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!  Enjoy!
Just a little inspiration during the run to keep going since I have been terrible about training this spring.

And the bread:

Getting everything laid out.

A little butter sugar action...almost therapeutic creaming these two together.

Hello dry ingredients

Then all together.

Layer with the cinnamon sugar mixture and into the oven.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread: (recipe adapted from Red Fly Creations)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two medium loaf pans or one large and two small loaf pans with parchment paper going up opposite sides.
2.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups of sugar.  Then whisk in the eggs one at a time.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.  Add the milk and dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture in 3 additions.    
3.  Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan) if using two medium pans.  Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with the last of the cinnamon topping.   
4.  Bake for 45-50 minutes (the small loaves only take about 30-35 minutes) or until toothpick tester come clean.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve and Enjoy!

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