Before we talk about apple cinnamon loaves and perfect streusel topping, I need to know: is anyone else the proud owner of an independent, opinionated 5-year-old girl?
I love my sweet daughter dearly, and for the most part she’s extremely easy-going, friendly, open and reasonable. But man, when she gets something into her head there is no swaying her for love nor money. I suppose I should take some blame (credit?) for this largely-peaceful obstinacy, but some days our entire conversations consist of things like this:
“Says” should not be pronounced “SEZ”, it is definitely “SAYZ.” But that’s wrong, for the previously discussed reasons of proper pronunciation. But that’s how I do it, so that’s what I’ll do.
Folding a paper in half to make a perfect heart? Not acceptable, because you get a fold line and the heart is ruined. But the heart must still be absolutely perfect, freehand. What if we fold one and trace around that one and then cut around it? THAT IS NOT OK WE ARE NEVER MAKING HEARTS AGAIN I HATE CUTTING.
She has long, beautiful hair perfect for many a Pinterest hairstyle, but we have only two approved choices: “Down and shiny when I want to be pretty and a ponytail when I want to be cool.” A surprise extra elastic, barrette, or side ponytail is met with sustained, vehement resistance and, quite frankly, I’ve pretty much given up trying.
We went clothes shopping with her this past week and let me tell you, the teenage years will be interesting.
Food is another fun one. Giving options for breakfast or lunch has quickly grown tiresome with 3 little ones with widely varying palates and preferences, so I’ve started just choosing and setting out the meal before calling them to eat. Invectives fly when she enters the kitchen. “But I wanted SCRAMBLED eggs, not BOILED.” Too bad. But you didn’t ASK me. I don’t have to, I chose today. Thank you for making me breakfast, Mom. How about if you just FRY me an egg? No, I already made scrambled, you love these. BUT TODAY I WANTED SOMETHING ELSE CAN I HAVE NOTHING I’M NOT EVEN HUNGRY YET. Seriously, eat your scrambled eggs. How is it only 7:30 am? What? What’s seventhirtyayem?
Quick breads like this do not fall into her acceptable food option category, but they fall very much into mine, and her little brothers think it’s cake, so it serves equally well for breakfast, lunch, or snack time when she’s at school :).
My mom actually made this particular loaf (in an extra long and skinny loaf pan, don’t worry, you don’t need one :)) and was kind enough to share the recipe with me while I drooled all over the streusel topping. You know how much I love a good crumbly topping, and quick breads are such a perfect way to get something delicious together quickly and have your house smell amazing while it bakes. Loaves like this are even better on the second and third day, and can be frozen for longer storage, perfect for a last-minute treat for coffee with friends.
Check out the recipe notes for adaptations involving pear, carrot, zucchini, and nuts – this is such a versatile bread to change up to your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand! While it bakes, come back and give me some advice on sticking to your guns with kids…
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup diced, unpeeled apple (about 1 apple)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- For topping, melt butter in a small mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside. Grease a 9x5" metal loaf pan and set aside.
- For loaf, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, then whisk in buttermilk, vanilla, and egg. Make a dip in the center of the dry ingredients and dump in the wet ingredients all at once. Add apples and stir just until everything is combined and there is no visible flour left.
- Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and top with crumble topping, pressing topping in gently with a flat hand. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remove from oven and let rest in pans for 10-15 minutes before running a knife around the edges and turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely.
*Adapted from Foodland Ontario’s 2014 calendar.