Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What To Give?

The last week I've spent lots of time at the computer deleting increasingly hysterical emails from retailers who assure me that they can Deliver By Christmas, They have the Best Deals, and They have The Perfect Gift. Oh, and Time's Running OUT! Just in case I didn't feel the same sense of urgency they did. I don't.

All of my shopping is done. Most of my wrapping is done. And almost all of my mailing is done. (Brother-in-law, you won't get it by Christmas, but that package should get there by Groundhog's Day.) So what's left to do? Why, bake, of course!

I'm enjoying these last days before Christmas spending time in the kitchen with my kids, making stuff to give away to the neighbors. Because no matter what my frantic e-mails say, what people like is food. And not just food that was made in a factory 5 months ago, something homemade with love that's delicious.

This recipe came from our very favorite neighbor. She used to have baking dates with my daughter and after an afternoon of baking, my daughter would come home with a treat for us. When she brought home this loaf, we all loved it so much I asked for the recipe. And this year our neighbor's getting a loaf from us. What goes around comes around!

Cranberry Orange Bread
- from Fabulous Neighbor Karen
Makes 1 loaf or 2 mini loaves

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange + enough water to = 3/4 cup liquid
1 beaten egg
1-1/2 cups raw cranberries, cut in half
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. Grease loaf pan(s).

2- Sift or sieve together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a mixing bowl.

2- In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, zest, liquid, and egg. Add this mixture all at once to the dry mixture and stir until the flour is almost all incorporated. You don't want to overmix.

3- Fold in the cranberries and nuts. Any bits of flour should disappear as you do this.

4- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan or mini loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour for a large loaf, or 45 minutes for 2 small loaf pans. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before wrapping to give, or slicing to eat.

Note: Because you don't want to overmix the batter, it's a bit tricky to double this recipe. I made two batches, side by side, to double it and make 4 mini loaves. If you make just one big double batch, you have to overwork the batter to incorporate everything and end up with a tough loaf.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

FABULOUS Christmas treat recipe.

And yes, I too have been deleting those emails, haha ;)

Bruce Craig said...

Yummmm... More please!

Zoe said...

This is on my to-bake list for too long...I got to bake this too.

Kitchen Corner said...

Nice red color in the bread! You've a blessed Christmas!!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Now that's exactly the ingredients I can gather with one step in the kitchen! I'm baking in a minute!

I don't get the frenzy either, totally with you! Have a nice and cozy Christmas, lots of love!

grace said...

cranberries and oranges need to go ahead and get married--one is just not as good without the other. :)