The last time I was home I got to visit the local cider mill. A trip to the cider mill has been a tradition since childhood. The smells of apples pie baking, fresh doughnuts frying, and spices hang in the air when you walk in the door. It's absolutely intoxicating as you can imagine. The cider mill brings in local apples and presses them using an 80-year old apple press. The young and old gather around to watch fresh made cider being made and smush even closer to get a free sample. Besides being able to snatch up a gallon of the freshest cider around, a dozen of melt in your mouth fried doughnuts, and an apple pie I have yet to be able to duplicate in my own kitchen is being able to purchase other lovely jarred goodies I can never find in my local grocery store. Case in point- sweet potato butter. I decided to try out this sweet potato butter in a quick bread recipe for a nice change of pace from the typical apple and pumpkin recipes that around the internet at the moment.
This is a simple quick bread recipe with traditional spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It does have quite a bit of spice to it, so if you prefer less spice I would try reducing the amount of spices in the recipe. The bread also calls for melted butter, instead of oil. Next time I think I would try using vegetable oil. I like the moistness that oil gives a to a quick bread recipe. Although this bread is good, I think it could have been boosted a bit in the moistness department.
The recipe does call for apple cider, which also gave me a chance to use up some of the fresh cider I watched get pressed. I also decided to throw in some dried cranberries and toasted pecans for some extra crunch and texture. Feel free to omit, or change it up. Hey it's your bread not mine!
If you aren't able to get a hold of a jar of sweet potato butter, and I totally get it using pumpkin butter or apple butter would be just fine I think. You could also try using a mashed sweet potato. Keep in mind, the sweet potato butter is sweetened and has vanilla flavoring added to it. So if you do us a sweet potato, I would suggest adding a little extra sweetness and some vanilla extract. If you do try it with any of these suggestions, please let me know how it turns out!
Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Bread
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* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
* 1 egg
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup apple cider
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1 cup sweet potato butter, divided
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
* turbinado sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl; set aside.
4. Beat the egg in a bowl.
5. Whisk in the brown sugar, apple cider, melted butter, and half of the sweet potato butter.
6. Stir in the flour mixture until no lumps remain.
7. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread the remaining sweet potato butter over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
8. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes.
9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.