23 January 2012

Eats: chocolate oatmeal quickbread

I admit it: I pin some recipes on Pinterest not because I think it will taste good, not because it necessarily uses ingredients we like, but because the photo is pretty. Such was the case for this one – and it doesn’t even show the finished product.

Pretty photograph of adorable packaging aside, oatmeal chocolate quickbread did sound super tasty. And because it’s shown as a gift in the photo, it made me think about making this as a hostess gift for when we travelled for the holidays – not in the bottles, but actually making a loaf. I could even pretend it’s for breakfast (hey, oatmeal is a breakfast food, right?).

The recipe couldn’t be simpler, although it does call for buttermilk. I am not enough of a baker to keep buttermilk around, nor to even buy it for a single recipe. So, I used the old lemon-juice-in-milk trick. I needed 1.5 cups buttermilk, so I stirred (you must stir, lest it curdle!) 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice into 1.5 cups of milk, and let it sit while I started assembling the rest of the ingredients.

Seriously, that’s the most complicated part of this recipe.

Then I mixed a half a stick of softened butter (the recipe says melted, but it’ll be less fluffy that way) with half a cup each of brown sugar and white sugar. Once those were combined, I added in the “small volume” dry ingredients: two teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon baking soda, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and made sure they were evenly distributed.

Then time for the dry ingredients, like oats! Can’t be oatmeal quickbread without oats.

Also time for the flour and chocolate chips (and nuts, if you have them, which I didn’t). I used mini chocolate chips, and though I added them directly to the rest of the ingredients, I briefly tossed the chips in the flour before stirring it all together. Word on the street is that it keeps them from sinking. I don’t know if it helped, but it didn’t hurt – I had chips throughout!

Then time for the wet ingredients: two eggs, as well as the buttermilk substitute that should be magically thickened by now. I also put in some vanilla extract, because in my humble opinion, vanilla extract is to baked goods what garlic is to dinner entrées (i.e. it improves each and every one). Stir to combine!

Then spread it in a greased pan. For a hostess gift, I used a disposable aluminum pan that was vaguely loaf-shaped. Ehh, it worked.

It needs to be baked for 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then, voila! A lovely way to say “Thanks for letting us crash with you and look we brought a sugary breakfast to share!”

So yes, I learned (the easy way, fortunately) that this travels really well as a hostess gift. Our travels specifically included four days in the car before finally reaching its intended recipient in Wisconsin. I worried that it wouldn’t be as great by then, but it was still super moist and tasty!

Of course, you can also have this in your own home to thank yourself for being such a gracious host to your family. And if you’re like me, you don’t like waiting around for a loaf to bake, nor do you need the ability to cut the loaf into fourths and eat a giant portion in one sitting. So you’ll be happy to know that this also adapts well to muffins! They don’t puff up that much, so go ahead and fill the cups most of the way, and cut the baking time in half.

So while the original photo was definitely cuter than mine – see, no layered-ingredients in a milk bottle with an adorable tag – this was still a great find on Pinterest. Sometimes it’s okay to judge on looks alone, eh? Hope you can use this as a thank-you to return a kindness – or just enjoy it all by yourself!


Tina said...

After Christmas calmed down and I was cleaning up and putting stuff away, I also put your gifted-to-us hospitality muffins along with some of the other "island food" into the freezer. I got the muffins out just last night to thaw for breakfast this AM. What a coincidence to be chomping on and thoroughly enjoying one with my coffee as I opened TRS this morning!You can add "freezes well" to the list of attributes for this pretty-picture recipe! It was delicious! And brought back some great past-Christmas memories, too! Love you!