Ever had one of those times when you decide on making a certain recipe, based on what’s in your pantry? So, you get everything ready and you’re all set – and then you go to get said ingredient and it’s either hard as Plymouth Rock or growing mold? Yeah, that’s never happened to me either.
It seems to be the season for sharing Cranberry Orange stuff, because I see it all over Pinterest. So, because I’m the type of person who goes with the flow, I decided to bring you one myself. Actually, no, I never go with the flow. When I see the flow, I swim as hard as I can the other way. I’m terribly hard headed. Y’all, pray for Barry. Amen.
Up for Cooking Through Stacy’s Stash, another Christmas goody! Country Woman Christmas 2008 (yes, FTC…that’s an affiliate link, but you probably aren’t checking as I doubt you work this time of year) is so much fun to look through. Sure, it’s full of sewing stuff and I don’t sew – I stick myself with pins and cut my fingers. I’m an accident waiting to happen.
BUT, I do have some pins for learning to sew…if I ever get around to reading them. Anyway, I didn’t buy this book for the crafts, it’s all about the food, baby!
So, I thought I had apricots. Turns out they were all slimy – then I started thinking about it. And I think they might have been pushing 4 years old. Confession: I don’t really like apricots. I don’t even know why I had them down there. If someone puts dried apricots in a trail mix, I eat around them –THE CARDINAL SIN!!!!!!!!!!! Never eat around the stuff in the trail mix – eat it all, or eat nothing. I’M TALKING TO YOU, BROTHER-IN-LAW, BRIAN MYERS!
I turned this bread into a nice and healthy Cranberry Orange Tea Bread instead of the aforementioned Apricot Bread. I made several tweaks and it turned out perfect. It’s a nice, short bread (not to be confused with shortbread)…great for having with coffee. I’m hungry.
Here is Stacy’s Christmas Kitchen Tip of the Year: grease and flour your pans. Seriously. I know you think it takes too much time, but really…it doesn’t. Just do it. Things fall out with wonderful grace and beauty – your breads and cakes won’t stick. You won’t cry when your bread doesn’t fall out and you were planning to take that to the neighbors so you fix and cup of coffee and stand at the counter and eat the entire loaf with a spoon while you bawl. *Cough*
I am a fan of extracts. I use them a lot. For this one, I used homemade vanilla extract (didn’t Barry make great labels?!) and orange extract. You could just as easily use orange zest – but I didn’t have any oranges because I was afraid to buy them at my last once a month shopping trip…I was afraid it was too early in the season and they would taste like old water – you know what I’m talking about.
After you mix it all up, you’ll add the nuts and cranberries. Doing this keeps them from sinking in the batter. Or so I’ve been told. It’s one of those things I just don’t question. Like, turn on the light switch and the lights come on. I don’t really care why, I just do it.
This has a nice crunchy cinnamon topping. I mixed sucanat with some cinnamon and sprinkled it all over. It will look like too much, but it’s not. In the words of the most wonderful Pioneer Woman: if some is good, more is better. Amen, sister. Amen.
Let it cool completely before you slice it – otherwise it won’t slice well. I like slicing sweet breads with my tomato knife.
I only kept one of these loaves out – I froze the other to give to one of my neighbors for Christmas. I’m kind like that. I hope I can stick with that plan without eating it.
This bread is so good! I cut back on the sugar amount, so it’s not overly sweet – just sweet enough. I used black walnuts for a nice, deep flavor but any nut will work. After 3 pieces I had to cut Annie off – because dude, I need some afternoon delight with my coffee. Andy fed his to the dog – par. But the dog gobbled it right up – also par.
Cranberry Orange Tea Bread
- ½ cup butter (one stick), softened
- ¾ cup sucanat/sugar/coconut sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange extract (or 1 tablespoon of orange zest)
- 2 cups flour (not self-rising, I used whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk/kefir
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped black walnuts (or other nut)
- ¼ cup sucanat/sugar/coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Cream butter and sucanat in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well.
- Add vanilla and orange extract.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk/kefir. Beat well after each addition.
- Fold in cranberries and nuts.
- Divide batter between two greased and floured 8 inch loaf pans.
- Combine ¼ cup sucanat and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: 2 8-inch loaves