What a whirlwind of a few days. Am I right? Holidays always leave me feeling like I just ran 20 million 100m sprints and all I can do is stand with my hands on my knees gasping for breath…when I know that if I stand with my hands behind my head, that air will come easier, but the energy to stand up straight is just too much.
And let us not forget the coughing and sputtering. I am not a pretty sight after sprints. But who is?
But I/us/we do it every year, because if I found myself well rested and 100% relaxed this time of year, something would be wrong. Like, world has ended and I am the only one left to fight the zombies, wrong….which, Dear Mayans…what a huge let down, not even a slight flash in the sky or gentle rumble under foot. Not that I wanted anything to happen…but a little something non scary or life-threatening would have been OK.
Anywhooo…The holidays are supposed to be hectic and crazy and whirlwindish. Full to the brim with parties and shopping and friends and family and baking and gift giving and hall decking and traveling…. all things that kinda sorta leave ya breathless. And immensly happy. And full. From love and one too many cookies…both of which I am not complaining about. At all. Ever. Never.
With Christmas merrily behind us and the New Year before us…I suppose it is time reflect on the year behind us and make resolutions for the year before us…which kinda sorta feels like a lot of homework. Doesn’t Barbara Walters do a 20/20 special on reflecting…looking back on 2012? Or is it Katie Couric? I mean, it kind of would be like watching the movie instead of reading the book … but come on, way easier. (fyi, I always always always read the book.) Does Anderson Cooper do a special on popular resolutions? I bet so. Includes weight loss and exercise…however, I think mine would include laundry folding and more live baseball.
While I think a bit more about what to put on that resolution list…let’s bake Cranberry Orange Walnut bread with an orange walnut glaze. A loaf that is studded with cranberries and walnuts…orange juice and zest brighten up the whole shebang … enhancing the tartness of the cranberries…making this loaf of sweet bread oh so heavenly and delicious. And the glaze…well, kinda the best part.
These cranberries will need to be cut in half. They will roll and you might almost quite possibly cut the tip of your finger off…try not to do this.
Zest the orange….your kitchen will instantly smell like 1000 times better than it did moments before.
One more picture for good measure. I don’t know what that means.
We got flour. Chunks of ice cold frozen butter. Cranberry halves. Orange zest, orange juice, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream are whisked together in a large measuring cup and placed in the lower right hand of the pic above…
Cut the very cold (I freeze mine) butter into the flour until butter is pea sized. No pastry blender? Food processor. Or two knives…Just remember to work quickly.
In go the wet ingredients. Wet into dry. Fold to combine….just until incorporated. No more. No less.
Fold in the roasted walnuts and cranberries.
And into a parchment paper lined (for easy removal) loaf pan…time to bake!
The best is yet to come…
Yep…the glaze is always the best part.
Coffee date anyone? I’ll bring the sweet treat and coffee. Bring yourself and good conversation…We will have a grand time.
|Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread|
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1+1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes and chilled (i stick in freezer for about 15 minutes before it is needed)
- Zest of 1 Orange, grated; reserve 1/4 teaspoon for glaze
- 3/4 Cup Orange Juice
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 1+1/2 Cups Fresh Cranberries, sliced in half
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Orange Zest, grated
- 2-4 Tablespoons Orange Juice
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Walnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan (9x5inch) with parchment paper, so that a little bit of paper hangs out over the edges…ya know, for easy removal.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until it is pea sized and resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together zest, orange juice, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Pour wet ingredients over flour/butter mixture and mix until JUST combined.
- Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing bread from pan and letting it completely cool on a wire rack.
- Once cool, whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, and walnuts. Add orange juice tablespoon by tablespoon until desired thickness is reached. Place a piece of parchment paper under wire rack that the bread is cooling on and slowly pour glaze over the top of the bread.
- Slice and enjoy.
- Will keep several days at room temperature, just keep it covered with foil or plastic wrap.
Adapted from Gourmet, October 1991.