Cranberry season has finally arrived! Now I am getting a bit excited because I know that the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. I can even tune in to one radio station where we live and there I can hear Christmas songs already as they have started playing Christmas carols since November 1. Yes, you read it right. I know you may think it's a little early to play Christmas carols in November - after all there's still Thanksgiving to celebrate before the Christmas season, but for me it's no problem at all.
In fact by Filipino standard, this is quite late. In the Philippines, once the months ending in BER begin - that's a clear signal - the holiday season has began which means - radio stations and malls begin to play Christmas carols already. Slowly but surely you will hear the airwaves being saturated by anything that has a Christmas theme. As early as the beginning of November some may even start decorating their houses with Christmas lights and other holiday trinkets and stuff. Well, we don't do that in our house here in MI though if I were in the Philippines, I'd probably join in the early preparations and celebrations. Why not?
Anyway, we digress. Every year I make some Cranberry Bread as it such a lovely looking Christmas bread. This year is no different. Once I saw those fresh cranberries on the grocery, my first project was this and yes, I have made three loaves already. That's how much we love it. You can make this loaf without the glaze as it is already delicious on its own but hubby and I agree that the sweet-tangy taste from the Lemon glaze sure adds extra flavor that makes it even better! Please enjoy!
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts
Juice of 2 OrangesZest of 2 Oranges
3 Tablespoons of melted unsalted Butter (or 3 Tablespoons light-tasting Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
For the Lemon-Glaze
1 cup, confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
1-2 Tbsp Lemon juice (depending on the tartness and thickness of the glaze that
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter or grease a 9x5 loaf pan. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the chopped cranberries and nuts. Stir together the orange juice, orange zest, melted butter or oil and the vanilla extract (if using). The orange juice mixture should measure about 3/4 cup and if it falls short, just add a little hot water or more orange juice to make it to 3/4 cup. Pour into the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and mix everything just until moistened.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before adding the glaze.
For the Lemon-Glaze
Place the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Mix until it reaches a smooth and pourable consistency. Drizzle on top of the loaf.
So the bread does not dry out, make sure that you store it in an airtight container. This is great with tea or coffee and I love spreading cream cheese on it!
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