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Best Holiday Breads

Nov 15, 2011 04:02PM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Treat your family and friends to delicious home-baked breads. A loaf wrapped in foil also makes a great hostess gift.

Quick breads are healthy snacks. Check out these tips and recipes from allrecipes.com:

  • Bake a loaf fresh for the week, then slice as you go.
  • Bake several loaves and freeze, pulling them out as needed. (Muffins and quick breads can be frozen for up to three months.)
  • Slice loaves and freeze servings individually (wrap each in plastic wrap, then in a resealable plastic bag). Kids can grab one from the freezer in the morning for a snack if they are going straight from school to an after-school activity.

Date Nut Bread

Makes 2 loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine baking soda with the boiling water. Soak the dates in the water and baking soda solution for 30 minutes.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs, vanilla, dates, nuts, flour, and salt.
  3. Divide batter equally between two 9x5” inch greased loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees (or until loaf tests done). Can be frozen when cool.
Cranberry Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the cranberries and walnuts, and stir to coat with flour. Mix together the egg, oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack, and cool completely.
Banana Bread

Cream cheese gives this bread a creamy new twist and texture.

Makes 2 loaves

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Cream the butter or margarine and cream cheese together. Gradually add the sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and soda; mix until batter is just moist.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. Divide 1/2 batter into two greased and floured 8x4 inch loaf pans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over batter in pans, and top with remaining batter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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