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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cranberry Orange Quickbread

  

I cut this recipe out of a magazine years ago and it's since become one of my holiday standards.  It's a fairly sweet, dense loaf that's very easy to prepare -- most of the ingredients will already be on hand.  Though I haven't tried it with dried cranberries, I'm sure it would work.  Wrapped up in pretty paper, it makes a great hostess gift.

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute up to half with whole wheat flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
grated peel of 1 large orange

Heat oven to 350 F.  In a small bowl, toss cranberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar; set aside.  Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl (I like to use a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup); add the milk, orange juice, and egg and whisk thoroughly to combine.

Into a large bowl, sift flour(s), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger; whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar.  Add the nuts, orange peel, and reserved cranberries and stir to combine. Add the milk mixture and stir just until blended.  The batter will be thick.  (If you used whole wheat flour, you might need to add a couple tablespoons of water.)

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan to cool completely on rack.  Serve with whipped cream cheese.

One of the prettiest loaves I've made.   If you want to dress it up
with a drizzled glaze, I recommend reducing the sugar by 1/2 cup.

This is a very festive bread and perfect for the holidays.

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