When I think of baking for Christmas I think of my grandmother’s cranberry bread. The berries are tart, the muffin is sweet – they just melt in your mouth. My grandmother passed when I was young, but it would have been such a pleasure to bake these with her!
I stock up on cranberries in November and stash them in my freezer. I will then be able to make homemade cranberry sauce though out the year when I make my Sunday dinner of roast chicken!
And of course I save enough cranberries to make some of this yummy cranberry bread! I do sometimes double the batch and make some of them into muffins – the kids go crazy for them!
Cranberry Nut Bread
Makes 1 loaf
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, plus some for greasing the pan
2 cups (about 9 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon minced or grated orange zest
1 cup cranberries, whole – frozen or fresh
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 X 5 bread pan.
2. Stir together the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into bits, and then use a fork or two knives to cut it into the dry ingredients, until there are no pieces bigger than a small pea. (You can use a food processor this step, which makes it quite easy, but don’t use a food processor for the remaining steps bread will be tough.)
3. Beat together the orange juice, zest, and egg. Pour into the dry ingredients, mixing just enough to moisten; do not beat, and do not mix until the batter is smooth.
4. Fold in the cranberries and the nuts, then pour and spoon the batter into the loaf pan. Bake about an hour or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes clean. Cool on rack for 15 min. before removing.
5. If making into muffins cook for 18 – 20 min.