Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Baking

I don't plan to do much baking this year for the holidays. The problem is that what I bake, I eat.

Like everyone else, I have recipes that I usually make this time of the year like Spritz butter cookies, Russian tea cakes and peanut brittle. Thankfully for me, I haven't felt the urge to make any of these.

I had a bag of cranberries in the fridge that needed to be used for something soon. I thought about relish, but my Mom makes a yummy cranberry orange relish and she plans to make it again before Christmas. She puts it in small jars and hands it out on Christmas Eve. I was daydreaming about that little jar relish that I will get in ten days, and it reminded me of the Cranberry Orange bread I used to make every year.  I'm pretty sure I haven't made it for at least ten years, which is too bad, because it's delicious!

You can tell from the condition of the recipe card that it has been used a lot.
I used to make the bread in mini loaf tins and give it as gifts. 

 I made a double recipe so that I could use up the whole bag of cranberries. It ended up being a generous amount of cranberries, but that's okay--more anti-oxidants! And look--only two tablespoons of oil (I use canola)! And only one egg! It's like health food (if you don't notice all the sugar)! I don't think I would cut back on the sugar because of the tartness of the cranberries. The bread is super moist--I'm not sure if it's from the orange juice or the cranberries, but it's also very tender. I would only use fresh orange juice and zest. One year I used the dried orange peel sold in the spice and seasoning aisle. It was convenient, but it made the bread very dry, so maybe some of the moisture comes from the oils in the orange zest? I used 3 big oranges and had plenty zest, but I was a little short of juice for a double recipe. I was out of oranges but luckily I happened to have a bag of clementines, so I squeezed a couple of those to get the juice I needed. If you make one loaf, three oranges should give you more than enough juice.

It's interesting how these loaves turned out. I have two new pans, since Mr. Moosebay (who does the dish washing) felt our old pans needed to be replaced. He didn't think the nonstick surface looked safe to use anymore.
The loaf in the back was baked in the bottom of an Anolon meatloaf pan. It's a really heavy pan that looks super coated with a nonstick surface. You can see it browned a lot more than the front loaf--especially around the edges.
The front loaf was baked in a Wilton pan that I got at Joann's (with a coupon, of course!). It isn't as heavy weight as the Anolon, but oddly it didn't brown as much. 


  1. The bread sounds delicious. I'll have to put cranberries on the list. I haven't baked anything yet. We are both trying to lose some weight. DH can resist the sweets, but I have a hard time with sugar. I revamped my banana bread recipe. That is the only thing I've baked in months.

  2. I mixed up your recipe and just put it in the oven. I'm excited to try it. I put chopped pecans in too. I think it might take a little longer to cook because my cranberries weren't completely thawed. Wait - wait - wait.