’07 Holiday Gifts: Sweet Loaves

December 17, 2007 at 9:26 am 6 comments

Cranberries about to be folded into pumpkin mixture 

Come one, come all!   Welcome to Straight from the Farm’s First Annual Holiday Gift Idea Round-Up!  I want to give you all a virtual gastronomic goodie bag of holiday treats similar to the ones I’m giving my friends and family this year.  This week’s recipes will all be part of the package I’d like to put under your tree where I able to fly around the world like Mr. Clause.   I don’t think I’d like the shimmying down the chimney part though.  You’d open your front door for me, right? 

Silly dreams of trotting reindeer around the world aside, I do apologize that I was MIA for a few days while I dealt with some other pressing matters.  I wish I had some grand excuse like jetting off to Aruba, but I don’t.  While I could bore you with the mundane details, I’d rather regale you with one of the two remaining cranberry recipes I’ve been talking about since the beginning of the month.  Gosh, I’m such a procrastinator!   Forgive me. 

Chopping up cranberries

Thankfully, this cranberry pumpkin bread is worth the wait.  Two of my favorite and perfectly seasonal flavors in one moist and warmly spiced bread…it was a no-brainer addition to my holiday food gifts list.  Judging from how much time I spend dreaming up recipes and writing for this blog, you might have already guessed I’m one of those crafty people that often gives homemade gifts.  Surprisingly though, I’ve rarely given food gifts.  Instead it’s been such memorable items as hand-knit scarves, hand-bound journals, hand-sewn bags made from placemats, hand-crafted ornaments, and even a hand-crocheted baby blanket for my nephew that got stolen out of my car (!) on Christmas eve one year. 

Pumpkiny batter

This year is different though.  It’s the first year I have a blog and a more defined “foodie” personality that most of my friends and family know well so they’re kinda expecting me to show off my prowess.  Plus I had one special food gift I just had to make for my friend Fred this year and that got the ball rolling.  I can hardly wait to tell you about what I made for Fred, but I promised you these last few cranberry recipes before I get embarrassingly (or rather more embarrassingly) behind schedule. 

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

The recipe after the jump is written for two larger loaves, but I opted for five mini loaves so I’d have enough to share and to keep one for myself.  I wish I had been foresighted enough to take a picture of how I wrapped them up for final presentation.  But I wasn’t.  So here’s what I did:  after they cooled completely, I wrapped each loaf in clear plastic wrap.  Then I took a piece of parchment paper cut just short of the width of the loaf and wrapped it around the loaf, securing it with a piece of tape.  Finally, I wrapped a piece of wide maroon ribbon around the center of the loaf, foregoing a bow for a cleaner look, by securing the ribbon flat with a piece of double-sided tape.  Refer to the sloppy sketch below on the off chance that will make it any clearer.  After I’d wrapped the loaves in this manner, I sealed them in nice clear bags and placed a tag on the outside describing the bread. 

Ta-da!

Wrap your loaves in parchment and ribbon

I can draw better than this, I swear!

By the way, this is one of those recipes that I’d love to give credit where credit is due, but alas, I’m not sure where I originally came upon it.  It’s existed for several years on a handwritten scrap of paper in my hodgepodge recipe binder.  

CRANBERRY PUMPKIN BREAD

1 c. margarine, softened
3 c. sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 ½ t. baking soda
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 ½ t. ground cloves
1 ½ t. freshly grated nutmeg
14 oz. can of pumpkin puree or 2 c. homemade
2 c. cranberries, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray two 9” x 5” bread pans with non-stick spray.

Cream sugar and margarine.  Add eggs and beat well.  Mix in pumpkin.  Combine all dry ingredients together and slowly incorporate them into the pumpkin mixture, mixing just until moist.  Fold in cranberries, being careful not to overmix the batter. 

Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 50-60 minutes until bread springs back to the touch.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Make a great holiday gift.  Also freezes well for later use. 

(makes 2 large loaves or 5 mini loaves)

Loaves lined up and ready to bake

Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , , , .

Some Favorites ’07 Holiday Gifts: Fancy Jam

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  December 17, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Yum. (I can’t draw any better than that!)

    Reply
  • 2. Jennie  |  December 17, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    You’re too kind, Taylor. 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. cookchef  |  December 18, 2007 at 5:07 am

    hey could you please give me some good recipies for my cooking website – as you seem as though you have many –
    just email them to me at menathan@bigpond.net.au and anyone else who reads this and has some good recipies email them to me aswell
    – cookchef

    Reply
  • 4. Jennie  |  December 18, 2007 at 7:10 am

    All my good recipes go up on this blog, Cookchef, so just check back here for ideas.

    Reply
  • 5. ‘07 Holiday Gifts: Miracle Bread « Straight from the Farm  |  December 21, 2007 at 11:05 am

    […] I hope you’ve enjoyed the ‘07 Holiday Gifts and feel truly appreciated as readers.  Should I do it again in ‘08?  There will be a few […]

    Reply
  • 6. Homemade dulce de leche | Look What I Cooked  |  December 21, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    […] (people keep telling me that cheesemaking is easy, but I’ve yet to give a whirl) and making cranberries dance and sing (well, not literally). But I do believe that she has outdone herself this time with […]

    Reply

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