Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

I know. I know. I’ve been MIA the last two weeks. I could go on and on about why but, basically it comes down to two things. 

1. I was a little overwhelmed

2. Jordan was gone and took my camera with him

So, I just took some pressure off of myself and just kept it simple. I let toys stay out overnight. We ate a lot of quesadillas. The laundry piled up. I couldn’t afford to wear myself out. I needed endurance. I needed to just chill out and enjoy my kids. 

It was so good. It was so difficult. It was forever. It was so sweet. 

Now, he’s back for a few days before he goes out to the woods again. So, I took an entire morning to bake this quick bread and take pictures for you. I don’t know why they call it quick bread. I mean, it bakes for an hour. Who cares? It’s so delicious. It would also make some b*tchin’ jumbo muffins if I had one of these. But, I just put it in a bread pan and called it magic. This is the season for this bread! It has festive and bright cranberries and buttery pecans, there is a tangy orange zest which are balanced perfectly by the cinnamon and allspice (that I put in everything this time of year). 

 

This was such a therapeutic recipe to make. The orange zest smelled amazing and nothing feels quite like hand mixing a batter. I gathered up my ingredients. A little sugar. Chopped fresh cranberries, pecans, orange zest, warm vanilla, sugar and a little coconut oil.

cranberryrollcall

 

I used my Cuisinart Mini Food Processor to roughly chop the cranberries and then pecans. (They come in different colors now?! Jealous.) Cranberries are amazing. They are tangy and bright. They are white in the middle but turn an amazing deep…cranberry color when cooked. I am already counting down to next week when I can make my cranberry sauce and put it on every sandwich I make from thanksgiving to new years. YUM.

cranberryingre

 

This recipe is so simple. Once you have your eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla creamed together, you just toss all of your dry ingredients together and add them.  

cranberry

Here is the only thing. I’m so mesmerized by mixing, that I almost lose myself. I get caught in a trance. That folding motion, watching the flour try to escape the sugar. Gets me every time. But, I have to keep my wits about me. The unforgivable sin of quick breads and muffins is over mixing! You’ll end up with an uninspiring brick at  the end. Hold back. Lightly fold until it is just barely mixed. Leave a few lumps and bubbles. Trust me on this one. 
cranberrymix

Gently folded Batter+PREPARED PAN+Buttery streusel topping=Success I can do math. Ina Garten The Barefoot ContessaTaught me. 
cranpan

 

I could probably just eat it right here, but I baked it instead. 

crancrumble

 Look at this….This would be delicious. But I couldn’t stop myself.  

cranbaked

 Here comes the WOW factor! Powdered sugar with fresh orange juice and a little zest make the perfect glaze. Do it. Don’t be shy.

craniced

 

There she is. Worth every moment. It has the right balance of texture, sweet, tangy, buttery, fresh and warming. All in a bread that everyone will enjoy. Serve it up however you like. With a hot cup of coffee? Yes. Snuggled up next to some homemade ice cream? Yes.

(You made ice cream?! oh. yes. I did.) 

(Golly Darla, do you put bread on everything? No comment)

Just bake this bread. Bring it somewhere and let everyone tell you how fancy you are. It will be a hit for dessert or for brunch (or both!)

cranberryorange1

 

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread
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Ingredients
  1. Streusel
  2. 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  3. 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
  6. Bread
  7. 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp allspice
  12. 1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  13. 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  14. 1 large egg at room temperature
  15. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  16. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  17. 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  18. 1/3 cup Coconut oil
  19. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  20. zest from one large orange
  21. Glaze
  22. 1 cup powdered sugar
  23. 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (most of the juice from 1 large orange)
  24. Sprinkle or orange zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Make the streusel. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Using your fingers, cut in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly and streusel-like (kind of like chunky sand). Put in the fridge until you are ready to use it. (can I suggest doubling this and adding chopped pecans? Do it. I totally should have.)
  3. Make the bread. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cranberries, and pecans.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until smooth and no large lumps of sugar remain. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and spices) . Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix and fold together with a rubber spatula until just combined (don't overmix or your bread will be tough!)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter and gently press the streusel into the top of the batter with your fingers. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, then loosely tent with foil. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely in the loaf pan on a cooling rack.
  6. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and orange juice, zest and a tiny sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavor. Add more orange juice if needed to get the consistency you like - I like my glaze just thin enough to drizzle. When bread is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top of the bread. Store glazed bread tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.
Dear Darla http://deardarla.com/

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