The holidays are here and this week's Heartland Cook bakes a sweet bread that can easily serve as an affordable gift for friends, colleagues or clients. Charity Worley of Advance, MO adapted her mother's zucchini bread recipe to create a holiday treat you're sure to love.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup orange (pureed)
1 cup fresh cranberries (pureed)
½ cup sugar (only if using fresh cranberries)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ teaspoon orange zest
Puree peeled oranges and fresh cranberries together in food processor, blender or grinder. Add about a half cup of sugar to sweeten the cranberries. (If you opt for canned cranberries – do not add sugar). Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to mix.
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch bread pans or smaller loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, applesauce and sugar well. Add dry ingredients a little at a time mixing between additions.
Stir in cranberry and orange mixture until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Top with raisins, crunchy toppings or walnuts if desired.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until fork comes out clean.
Cool in pans on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pans and apply glaze (optional). Allow bread to completely cool before enjoying.
Charity's tip: you can substitute whole wheat flour for a healthier option.