The holidays are just around the corner which means that we all will be doing more entertaining and feeding family and friends. During this time of year I like to have some treats wrapped and waiting in the freezer whether I am serving holiday brunch to family, hosting a Christmas open open for the neighbors, or just in case unexpected guests drop by for a visit. I love making quick bread as they come together quickly and one small loaf can serve up to eight. This recipe makes two 8 x 4-inch loaves, and the combination of cranberries, hazelnuts, and orange just feels like holiday baking to me. The tartness of the cranberries keeps the breads from being too sweet, while the hazelnuts add both texture and a unique flavor to the loaves. If you cannot find hazelnuts, you can use either walnuts or pecans. I used fresh cranberries in my version because I was making them to enjoy over the Thanksgiving weekend, but you could use dried cranberries as well.
To skin the hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 12 minutes. Dump the nuts into a clean kitchen towel, and rub with your fingers to remove most of the skins.
Deborah Mele 2017
- 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 2/3 Cup White Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 4 Large Eggs
- 5 Tablespoons Melted Butter
- Zest of 1 Large Orange
- 1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 Cups Fresh Cranberries
- 2 Cups Skinned, Chopped Hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with baking spray.
- In one bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, orange zest and juice, and vanilla extract.
- Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon just until mixed.
- Stir in the cranberries and hazelnuts, reserving 1/2 hazelnuts for the top of the loaves.
- Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans.
- Finally chop the reserved hazelnuts and sprinkle on top of the loaves.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pans and cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
- Slice & enjoy!