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December 1999 Issue
Fruit Breads
by Ronda L. Halpin
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One of my favorite memories of the holidays when I was a little girl was waking up on Christmas morning...early! This wasn't a huge problem I lived in a house filled with early risers. However, Mom wasn't ready to toy with the idea of a big breakfast until well after ten, so she would make sure we had something to keep us happy until then. That's where the fruit breads came in. She'd fill a huge platter with slices of different fruit breads and make sure there was butter and jam and all the other things that made nibbling on them fun.

This month, I offer you a taste of Christmas mornings past. Two of my favorite sweet bread recipes -- Cranberry Bread and Rhubarb Bread -- are here just for you. The only thing to make them better is a hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


Cranberry Bread

I suggest freezing the cranberries before you chop them in half. It's less messy and the berries maintain more shape during mixing and baking.
  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. orange peel
  • 1 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 3 c. cranberries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in the margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Add the eggs, orange peel and orange juice all at once. Stir the mixture just until it is evenly moist. Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon the mixture into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  • Yields: 24 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


Rhubarb Bread

Dicing fresh rhubarb is easy and, once diced, it can easily be frozen and used months later. The combination of tart rhubarb and the sweet topping on this bread make it an instant favorite.
  • 1 1/2 c. rhubarb, diced
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. sour milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. margarine, softened
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the sugars over the diced rhubarb and allow to sit while making the batter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, egg, milk, vanilla, salt, baking soda and flour. Beat well. Add the rhubarb and the nuts and mix well. Pour into two greased loaf pans.

In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 c. sugar, cinnamon and margarine together. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

  • Yields: 24 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

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