Holiday Baking made Easy!

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Holiday Baking made Easy!

My friend, Liz, just emailed me, asking for my mother-in-law's recipe, "Cranberry Nut Bread". No doubt, she's about to make loaves of bread for friends this Christmas!
This recipe is the one I follow when I make Christmas gifts for friends at church.   I can't believe that I still have the original recipe that Jan sent me all those years ago when I was a brand new (newly married) homemaker!

And this morning, I woke up to find the counter stacked with dozens of sugar cookies neatly packaged in trays and wrapped with bows. My daughter, Rebekah, had obviously been baking for her friends again. These cookies will be her way of saying, "Thanks", to her debate friends, mock trial friends, Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Stevens (coaches), etc.

  Rebekah obviously had the same idea, that my friend Liz's the season for holiday baking isn't it?

So while were on the subject, I thought I'd post our favorite holiday recipes...the ones I make when I want to spread a little Christmas cheer.  This cranberry nut bread recipe is obviously good...or my friend Liz, would not have asked for it after all these years!! So I'll start with it.  The recipe for this is on the Ocean Spray website and is exactly the same as my mother-in-law's except that she uses only a 1/2 t. salt, and 1 cup of cranberries.



2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).

Her note is the best part:  This bread freezes very well. I always make it several weeks before the holidays and keep it in the freezer.  It is especially good "toasted" or served warm.

The Almond Bark candy recipe that we make every Christmas came from my mother-in-law too.  I've shown detailed steps for making that on a previous post.

Another favorite is my Grandma Wood's chess bars...

Try it out! These are fantastically delicious and super easy to make.


1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1 c. nuts
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
Mix together cake mix, butter, 1 egg and 1 cup of nuts. Spread on bottom of greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar and 2 eggs. Pour over cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, until golden


Carlos and Janis said...

Donna, I love that you take a picture of the actual recipe that you use. I have a desire to eventually make a (nice) cookbook of handwritten family recipes. Handwriting is going out of style, unfortunately, but it is one of the ways we connect to the past! Thanks for showing off some of your past in your blogs!

Donna said...

I'm glad you liked it Janis. I made a cookbook scrapboook the first year we were married. I have hand-written recipes from so many family members. I'm so glad I begged for them!

Donna said...

Hey Trudy, Thanks for mentioning my post on your blog! I really really appreciate it. I enjoy the company and am so glad when people come to visit...especially if I can be a help to them in any way with my articles.

Large Order of Fryes said...

We just made the Almond Bark candy - it is SO addicting! We are going to try the cranberry bread next! Yum Yum!!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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