Food gifts are always a highlight of my gift giving holiday regimen. Is it because I like to cook? Or maybe because I like to eat (!).

This year I was inspired by Jaclyn of Food + Words’ article about homemade gifts in the debut issue of FoodieCrush magazine (page 18) and planned on making one of my favorite quick breads, a recipe given to me years ago by a dear co-worker.

But once I baked my loaves of Cranberry Nut Bread, my distribution intention gears changed toot sweet.

FoodieCrush Cranberry Nut Bread

I just had to have one slice. And then another. And maybe just clean up those little old crumbs over there.The combo of tart cranberries and sweet bread with the nuts were just too good to share.

It was Christmas. I deserved a treat too, right? Right?

So instead of receiving the breads, my neighbors found my mom’s awesomest fudge in my cake-crumbed hands, standing at their doors, with a delicious holiday food gift substitute.

Today I found there were just a few slices left, so I used them in a sweet, cakey version of french toast for my daughter and her sleepover friend. Um, yeah. They licked the plates clean.

Cranberry Nut Bread
 
Serves: makes 2 mini loaves or one 9 X 5 inch loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons backing powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1½ cups fresh or fresh frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  2. Stir in orange juice, orange zest, shortening and egg and mix until well blended.
  3. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
  4. Pour batter into 2 greased mini loaf pans or one 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes if making small loaves, 55 minutes for a large loaf or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool.

And now, a tasty assortment of savory and sweet quick breads that will have you wiping crumbs from your chin in just over an hour.

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