Eggnog Cranberry Bread

After spending a few weeks baking with ingredients that I normally don’t have, I wanted something that would use up those ingredients, namely eggnog and fresh cranberries.  What could go wrong?

Recipe came from here: http://thecornerkitchenblog.com/eggnog-cranberry-bread/

What You Need:

2 ¼ cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup eggnog

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups fresh cranberries

 

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard loaf pan using your favorite method.  I’m a fan of lining the pan with foil and spraying with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, eggnog, melted butter and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. The original recipe said that the batter will be lumpy, but mine wasn’t, amazingly enough.  Just keep reading…Fold in cranberries.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before cutting.

What I did:

Since I knew that this would probably only make 1 loaf, I doubled the ingredients so I could make two loaves.  I didn’t feel like hauling out the stand mixer (mistake #1), so I mixed everything together with my adorable little hand mixer (mistake #2).  The dough quickly decided to adhere to one only one of the paddles, working its way toward the mixer base like a snake, and throwing dough everywhere outside of the bowl.  When my hand mixer started making a funny smell (I think I might have started to burn the engine up), and all the dough was far too dry and sticky to be decent bread, I realized that I’d forgotten to double the wet ingredients (mistakes #3-5).  More eggs…more eggnog…lots more eggnog…then folded in the cranberries with a spatula.  All 6 cups of them (mistake #6). Wow, lots of cranberries…

So, divided everything up and stuck it all in the oven.  After an hour, the house smelled divine!  I knew that all the mistakes I’d made would be worth the end result.

Only it took about twice as long to cook the loaves due to the amount of cranberries that were in the dough (mistake #…oh forget it.  Too many to count).  Yeah, I forgot that when you are using fresh fruit, it always adds baking time.  What can I say?  It’s the holidays, and everyone is going faster than they care to admit.

I covered the loaves with foil during the last bit of baking time so that their tops wouldn’t burn. 

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Terribly blurry photo…Sorry about that.  Its the only one that I got before the bread was gone.

Reaction:

This was one of those times in my life when everything should not have turned out, but some miracle it actually did.  The bread is super moist, and it easily falls apart when cut/handled/looked at, but the flavor is very sweet and tart at the same time.  And not overwhelmingly eggnog-y.

I loved this recipe.  And I love making quick breads like this.  I think I would like to maybe concentrate on them a little more so that I can get the moisture level to a good point without having the bread fall apart on me when I cut it.  I could have used less cranberries and less eggnog, and it probably would have been fine. 

I guess I’m just paranoid that the bread will be dry.  Oh well.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Cranberry Orange Relish

The holiday season is upon us!  I have been truly bitten by the Christmas bug this year, and have been on the hunt for weeks searching for great recipes to try this season. 

This one fell in my lap in early November.  It comes from a chef by the name of Jennifer Hill Booker from Georgia.  Her website is www.yourresidentgourmet.com.  When I tried this relish, I knew that it would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  So, I gave it a whirl.  And boy, was I glad that I did!

What You Need:

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup orange juice

1 orange, peeled and segmented

1 teaspoon orange zest

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup orange liqueur (optional)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 pinch sea salt

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a medium-sized, heavy bottom sauce pan.
  2. Bring the relish up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally
  3. Simmer the mixture until the cranberries burst and the relish thickens, about 25 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and allow the relish to cool.  It will thicken as it cools

What I did:

I followed the directions since this was my first attempt at making anything remotely relish-y.  I was sure that I was going to mess it up somehow, and end up with a charred lump of mess in the bottom of the pan. 

I was so wrong!   You truly cannot mess this one up at all.  Sure, you need to keep an eye on it and make sure that you do indeed stir it, but it was super easy.

Here it is on our gourmet turkey sandwiches that we had the day after Thanksgiving.  Yes, that is also bacon that you see.

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Reaction:

Scott doesn’t even really like cranberry sauce, and he liked this!  I thought it was heaven, and I’m very happy that we happened to have orange liqueur on hand.