Almond Apple Bread with Rum Raisin Cream Cheese

Apple Bread

Picture yourself in a forest. In the middle of nowhere. In a clearing with tall trees all around and random rays of sunlight shining through. You’re part of a small audience sitting before a large wooden table covered with all sorts of rustic looking tarts, breads and salads made with wild plants and herbs foraged from the forest. It’s a cooking class. And now it’s your turn to take what you’ve learned, forage on your own and make something for everyone to sample. But suddenly, you’re hit with fear so strong that time stands still and your heartbeat in your ears is all you can hear. You’re afraid of killing everyone, yourself included, with a poisonous plant! Then you wake up. Cause it’s a dream. But not yours, mine. Welcome to my dreams! This is the crazy stuff I dream about.

And this is the not-so-crazy stuff I dream about!

Almond Apple Bread with Rum Raisin Cream Cheese

A sweetly spiced apple bread that won’t poison you. I promise. Each slice is like a work of art, packed with a mosaic of fresh, diced apples and crunchy almonds. The rum raisin cream cheese is richly flavored with rum and vanilla extracts, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon and a touch of cloves. It’s packed with chewy, golden raisins and is perfect paired with the apple bread. All the flavors love each other! And you’ll love them right back.

Rum Raisin Cream Cheese
Almond Apple Bread w/ Rum Raisin Cream Cheese
(loosely adapted from Hobby Farms)

¼ cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour (substitute half with King Arthur White Whole Wheat, if desired)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups apples, diced small

2/3 cup sliced almonds, chopped, plus additional 1/3 cup for sprinkling over top, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour and 8 x 5 inch loaf pan.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy then beat in eggs.

4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in three batches, alternating with milk and lastly sour cream. Add a spoon of flour to the apples and toss to coat to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Stir in apples and almonds. The batter will be stiff.

5. Spoon into prepared pan and sprinkle almonds over top. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and top is nicely browned. Cool thoroughly; best not to slice when warm.

Rum Raisin Cream Cheese
(by Reeni)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch or two of cloves
3/4 cup raisins, chopped (I used golden)

In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with a hand mixer on low until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar, molasses, extracts, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in raisins.

Apple Bread with Rum Raisin Cream Cheese

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