Monday, March 12, 2012

Lemon Maple Quickbread

Every holiday season growing up, I received an ugly sweater or themed pajamas from my relatives. Things that are well-intentioned, but will never get worn, and ultimately end up at the back of the drawer or the bottom of a donation bag.

When I received the The Sugar Bush Connection, I thought it would be the cookbook equivalent of those pajamas. It has been tucked away on my bookshelf for years, much like the clothes at the back of the drawer.

Sometimes, though, when I haven't done laundry for weeks on end because I'm drowning in coursework, those pajamas come out, and, inevitably, they end up being one of my favorite things to wear.

This cookbook was no different. On a stressful weekend, I reached into my cupboard, pulled out this tome, and began to page through recipe on recipe of maple-based concoctions.

With my friend Aaron's birthday last weekend, I decided that I would take a shot at a maple quickbread-- after all, I am never one to show up to a party or gathering without food.

That's right. I buy love with baked goods. I'm not ashamed. I'll own it.

Just as with many baked goods, wet meets dry.

... and bakes up into something lovely. Seriously, this made my house smell better than any scented candles or potpourri.

Crusty, tart, sweet, but not cloyingly so, this quick bread is perfection in loaf form.

Tucked in to a basket, paired with cookies and brownies-- the perfect birthday gift.

Lemon Maple Quickbread

Adapted from The Sugar Bush Connection

2 1/4 cups wheat flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.

Combine first five ingredients, then cut in shortening until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients until mixed. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until well mixed. Pour batter into loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes, our until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cook in pan completely before removing and slicing. Serve with a big scoop of Greek yogurt or ice cream.

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