Sunday, January 11, 2015

Orange-Cranberry Bread

Makes 2 regular loaves, or 6 mini loaves

1½ C butter, softened
1½ C sugar
4 eggs
1 C orange juice
1 C sour cream
2 Tbls grated orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 C flour
1 Tbls baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C cranberries; dried or fresh
   For icing:
2 C powdered sugar
7-8 Tbls orange juice/liqueur

Preheat oven to 330˚. Lightly coat two 6-cup capacity loaf pans (or six mini loaf pans) with non-stick cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to batter. Mix until dry ingredients are completely absorbed; do not overmix. Gently fold in cranberries. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans. Bake 70-75 minutes (or about 60 minutes for mini loaves), until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

     For icing: Stir together powdered sugar and orange juice/liqueur. Icing should have consistency of thick syrup.

Let loaves cool in pans 10 minutes; remove onto cooling racks set over baking sheet. with fork or skewer, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with icing to coat top, seep into holes, and run down sides.

Lemon-Blueberry Bread: Substitute blueberries and lemon juice for cranberries & orange juice. Straight lemon juice is pretty strong, but ½ C apple juice and C lemon juice works fine.
Cherry-Almond Bread: Substitute cherries for the cranberry, and add ½ C chopped or slivered almonds. Substitute apple juice for orange, and almond extract for vanilla. Use cherry liqueur or almond extract in the icing.
Apple-Cinnamon Bread: Substitute peeled, diced apple for cranberries. Use apple juice instead of orange, and brown sugar instead of white. Add 1 tsp cinnamon to the batter and the icing. Use maple extract instead of orange juice/liqueur in icing.
Or...come up with your own favorite!

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