Triple-chocolate Quick Bread


My husband actually liked this chocolate bread recipe from "The Taste of Home Baking Book" – he’s not usually a chocolate fan.  It uses applesauce for part of the fat – and is chocolaty without being over-the-top.  He thought a few nuts would have made them even better – I even thought about chopped-up cherries next time.  I was worried that it would run over the pans, but it didn’t – it made nice, firm little loaves that came out looking exactly like the cookbook photo.  These make nice little gift loaves or are a nice-sized slice for a dessert tray.   Like all quick breads, these are better the second day.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight before slicing for best results.                  
Triple-chocolate Quick Bread
  1 1/2   Cups  Miniature Chocolate Chips -- semisweet, divided
     1/2   Cup  Butter -- softened
     2/3   Cup  Brown Sugar -- packed
  2          Large  Eggs
  1 1/2   Cups  Applesauce
  2          Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
  2 1/2   Cups  Flour, All-purpose (11 ¼ ounces)
  1          Teaspoon  Baking Powder
  1          Teaspoon  Baking Soda
  1          Teaspoon  Salt
                        Glaze:
     1/2   Cup  Miniature Chocolate Chips -- semisweet
  1         Tablespoon  Butter
  3         Tablespoons  Half and Half
     1/2   Cup  Powdered Sugar
     1/4   Teaspoon  Vanilla Extract
In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup chocolate chips; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and melted chocolate; mix well.  Add the applesauce and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
Spoon into four greased 5 3/4 x 3 x 2" loaf pans (about 11 ½ ounces each).  Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
For glaze, melt remaining 1/2 cup of chips and butter in a small heavy saucepan; stir in cream.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and salt.  Drizzle over warm bread.    Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips, if desired.  Cool completely.
  "4 Mini Loaves"

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