Monday, November 9, 2009

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

Do you ever have those mornings where you wake up feeling all warm and cozy and want nothing more than to settle in on the couch, cuddled up under a blanket, preferably with the one you love? I have those days a lot. And usually when I do, I want something warm and cozy to munch on while cuddled up under that blanket.

So today was one of those mornings and I was craving something a little sweet, a little tangy, and a little decadent for a weekday morning breakfast. (Though truth be told, when you are unemployed, the weekday mornings don’t differ too much from the those on the weekends.) Basically, I wanted something I didn’t have readily available, so if I wanted it, I was going to have to bake it.

Cue the recipe for Cranberry Orange Nut Bread I’ve had socked away for the last week or so. It fit the bill perfectly: sweet, tart, and easy enough for a weekday morning. And this bread is seriously easy. It’s your basic quick bread (mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, combine, bake) with a couple of fun ingredients added to the usual mix. Fresh cranberries are the real star here, with orange juice and zest adding another big punch of flavor.

One quick cautionary note: this recipe requires you to cut the cranberries in half. Be careful! They are slippery little suckers and will try to roll away from you. Having a sharp knife will help, but make sure you have a firm grip on the cranberries and don’t try to cut too many at a time. Your fingertips will thank you.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, halved
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 T. orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cranberries and walnuts and mix to coat.

In another bowl, combine orange juice, butter, egg, and zest. Add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. (The dough will seem dry at first, but it will come together into a thick batter.)

Pour into a greased 9x5 or 8x4 loaf pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

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