Recipe Review: Applesauce Nut Bread

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Cookstr, a new online recipe source. Many of the recipes come from famous chefs and their cookbooks, giving you a chance to try out dishes without buying the whole book. This one is from a classic we don't own: The Fanny Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. It's an easy, sweet applesauce loaf. Get our thoughts below...

We love a quick bread baked in a loaf pan. It's a manageable amount for a small household to eat before it gets stale, it makes a great gift, and, at least for us, it can usually serve as breakfast or dessert.

We chose this recipe because we had a bunch of homemade applesauce sitting in the freezer that we wanted to use. Our applesauce was pretty sweet and already seasoned with cinnamon, so we debated on whether or not to cut down on the sugar and spices in the bread. The recipe simply calls for chunky applesauce—no mention of natural or sweetened—so it's unclear. But we didn't mess with the amounts, and the finished bread was certainly not too sweet.

Two changes we did make: We toasted the walnuts before adding them to the batter, and we used butter instead of the shortening the recipe calls for. Shortening is a matter of taste, and we know plenty of people who use it, especially in pie crusts, but we just find it a bit difficult to work with.

This bread has one stick of butter and no oil, so the applesauce goes a long way to keeping it moist without it needing a lot of extra fat. And it tastes really good. Not mind-blowingly great, but it's a simple bread. We didn't expect transcendence. We might up the cinnamon and nutmeg next time or add a little clove, but it has perfect texture- soft in the middle with a crackly crust. Overall, we'd recommend it as a light, quick alternative to banana bread, something that would be good to have on hand for the holidays.

One tip: We bet it would be great toasted with melted cheddar on top...

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Related: Hunk o' Fruit: Bill Granger's Oat, Pear, and Raspberry Loaf

(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)

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