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What better way to wake up than to the aroma of freshly baked pastries? Whether it’s fragrant banana muffins, buttery scones or the sheer delight of a high-rising, oven-baked pancake, breakfast pastries are a delicious way to make any day feel special. This month’s winners are ideal for celebratory brunches (’tis the season for bridal showers and graduation parties), but they’re also easy enough to prepare on a weekday. A family favorite is this cinnamon-scented quick bread that combines a moist, tender texture with a crackly, almond crust. Consider baking two and freezing one to brighten up a future morning.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. Batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, yogurt and extracts and beat until well-combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the batter just comes together (do not over mix).
4. Pour half the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
5. Cinnamon Sugar: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the batter in the pan.
6. Pour the rest of the batter over the cinnamon sugar and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the batter and top with the almonds.
7. Bake 50–60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out mostly clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and turning out the loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, this bread will keep 3–4 days.