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Handmade Christmas Kitchen: Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

November 2, 2010

Welcome to the Handmade Christmas Kitchen – a very special segment of Handmade Christmas 2010.  While we are all making final decisions on what to make for our loved ones holiday gifts, I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear from some special guests. I’ve asked a few of my favorite blog-land bakers to share a bit of their own holiday traditions found folded into batter.  I expect we will hear about love rising in the oven and extra kindness mixed by hand in the early morning.  Be prepared to tie your apron and be inspired to spend some time in your own Christmas Kitchen.

Today, Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life shares the story of her Baker beginnings, as well as her recipe for Cranberry Apple Bread. Sounds, Delicious!

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and you may or may not know me from my little blog I like to call Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

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If you’ve ever stopped by before, then you probably know the facts: I absolutely love spending time in my kitchen, baking away until my heart is full and content. I’m sure you can imagine that I was absolutely ecstatic when Heather asked if I’d be interested in being a part of her “Handmade Christmas Kitchen.”

Like I really ever need an excuse to do a little extra baking!

Thanks so much Heather for allowing me to take part in such a fun, festive idea. And thanks to all of YOU for sticking around and reading about a delicious treat to share with your friends and family.

I’m pretty sure that my love of baking stems all the way back to when I was a little girl, all decked out in my child-sized pink “Princess” apron, ready and willing to help Mom with anything I could get my hands on. Mom was always baking up something in the kitchen; whether it be her amazing apple pies, her rich chocolate mousse cakes, or her unique spin on each of the cookie recipes out of Mrs. Field’s cookbook.

Whatever the recipe, there was one thing you could count on: it was baked with love. I could see just how much my Mom enjoyed watching her family relish in the succulent treats which she put so much time and effort into. I knew then that I wanted that to be me; I wanted to be the one watching my friends and family enjoy my treats. So I followed in her footsteps and never looked back.

Here’s my Mom & I on her birthday this past year. 🙂
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Over the years, (especially during the college, cash-strapped years) if you were getting a gift from me, you could pretty much bank on the fact that you were going to be getting a home baked treat. Some years it’s cookies (actually, every year it’s cookies…my freezer is fully stocked with them from November-January), but some years I like to switch it up a bit.

Since I had already been thinking about sharing my love this year with some fresh, moist, delicious breads, I figured now would be a perfect time to share them with you all. And in an effort to stick with some extraordinary holiday flavors, let’s go with one of my favorites: Cranberry Apple Bread.

First things first, you want to get your apples cored, peeled, and chopped. I really do not know any better way to do this than with an apple peeler/corer.
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I got one for Christmas one year, and my life was immediately changed for the better. This thing cuts some serious time out of your baking prep…and who doesn’t love that?
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Once your apples are all set and lookin’ pretty, it’s time to get crackin’ on the rest of your ingredients.
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First, you want to mix together all of your dry ingredients and get them nice and acquainted.

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Then, in another bowl, go ahead and whisk together your eggs, oil, and milk.
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Then you want to add your wet ingredients in with your dry.
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Next up? The star ingredients of this recipe!
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Add your cranberries & chopped apples to the batter,
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and mix until just incorporated. You don’t want to work out your batter too much!
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Now it’s time to get cookin’! Spread your batter evenly into a 9×5 or 8×4 inch loaf pan sprayed thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray.
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If you have lots of apples on hand like I often do, go ahead and make a double batch. It won’t hurt, especially if you’re giving these delicious loaves away as gifts!

Go ahead and spend the next hour or so relaxing on the couch, singing Christmas songs, or (if you really can’t sing like me…) dancing around the kitchen to Christmas songs while washing the dishes. Before you know it, you’ll end up with the amazing aroma of fresh baked bread roaming through your kitchen, thanks to these fresh baked goodies.
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The great thing about baking bread as gifts is that there are so many different ways to present it. You can easily use this recipe to bake up a bunch of mini loafs, using some fancier disposable pans,

disposable loaf pans 
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or some cute ceramic ones like these…

xmas loaf pans 
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There’s no doubt that everyone loves a gift that comes from the heart, and what comes more from the heart than a home baked treat? Family and friends will love this bread, so go ahead and give it a try. You won’t regret it. And if you plan it right, you can even keep a loaf or two for yourself. 🙂

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Cranberry Apple Bread

(Makes one loaf, but can easily be doubled)
(Original recipe can be found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (cow or almond milk will work fine)
  • 2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs,oil, and milk. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be very thick).
Fold in apples, cranberries and walnuts, if using them. Transfer to an 8×4, 9×5, or mini loaf pan(s) coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. ENJOY! 🙂

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 8:12 pm

    I can’t live without my apple peeler this time of year, it’s such a time saver. This recipe looks really good!

  2. Liz @ Blog is the New Black permalink
    November 2, 2010 8:19 pm

    Love this idea, and the recipe looks great!

Trackbacks

  1. 20 Minute Mac & Cheese…Your Way « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
  2. Cranberry Apple Bread « Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

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