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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

I'm surrounded by red and green, everywhere I look.
The last of my amaryllis bulbs has finally started to sprout.  Overnight, it just shot up.  Two shoots from one bulb........I don't always get that lucky, so when it happens it's a pleasant surprise.

This last bulb grew so fast, it's already passed the three bulbs that were beginning to sprout last week.

Remember earlier this week when I transferred these bulbs?  The good news is, two of them have started to sprout, and they also have two shoots coming from each bulb.  

The not-so-good news is the third one has barely budged, and they are all growing so slowly that I can't imagine they will bloom before springtime.

At least the red and green ornaments in the planters are pretty to look at.

Speaking of red and green........

Chock-full of cranberries and pistachios, this bread is such a festive display of red-and-green that it begs to be part of your Christmas baking line-up.

It's so extraordinarily good, however, that I'd bet you'll be baking it year-round!

Put on your favorite Christmas CD and play it loud while you do your baking.

Here's my suggestion for a playlist:

Today's Playlist
  • "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"......Los Lonely Boys
  • "Jingle Bells"......Earl Scruggs
  • "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".......Darlene Love
  • "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"...........Rockapella
  • "Rockabilly Christmas".......Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • "Sleigh Ride".........Johnny Mathis
  • "Holly Jolly Christmas"............Burl Ives
  • "Marshmallow World".........Dean Martin
  • "Cool Yule"..........Brian Setzer Orchestra

Cranberry-Pistachio Bread 
(Adapted  from The Summer Anytime
Cookbook: Recipes from Shutters on
the Beach by Dana Slatkin)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Gather your ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Do your prep work.

Like any quick bread, the leavening process begins as soon as you combine your wet and dry ingredients.  Having your ingredients prepped in advance so they can be combined quickly and then immediately placed into a preheated oven is important.

Coarsely chop the cranberries.  Don't stress over this.  I just move my knife from one side of the cutting board to the other, chopping as I go.
Coarsely chop your pistachios.  I admit it, I stress over this.  I'm a messy nut-chopper.  They fly all over the place when I chop them.  I stuck them in this contraption instead. I just put them in the cup in the bottom and pounded on the top about 8 times.

See?  Nicely chopped.

It's not the end of the world, however, if you decide not to chop your nuts at all.  On my lazy days, I skip the chopping.

Combine the egg and orange juice in a small bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Melt your butter.  Oops, forgot to take a picture.  Just put the butter into a small bowl and zap it for a minute in your microwave.

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients (egg/orange juice and melted butter) to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.

Add cranberries and pistachios, stir gently to combine.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Spread evenly in the pan.  Place the pan in your preheated 350-degree oven.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You have no idea how good this bread is.  If you only make one recipe from this blog, please let this be the recipe.

This bread is perfect.

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