It’s quick breads for gift giving today. So often you see a recipe which calls for toasted nuts or coconut or how to “plump” dried fruit, such as raisins, that may dehydrate and harden in storage so it won’t soften during baking. Here’s what to do: Simmer dried fruits in water or juice for 5-10 minutes; don’t overcok or it will get mushy. Drain and pat dry. To toast nuts: Spread nuts on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan and toast in 325 degree over until godlen brown, five to eight minutes. Watch carefully and stir often so they won’t burn. Or, spread nuts in a heavy ungreased skillet. Cooke over medium heat for five to seven minutes, stirring constantly, until nuts brown lightly. Remove from pan immediately to stop further cooking. To toast coconut: Spread coconut evenly on ungreased baking sheet. Toast in 350 degree over for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally until coconut turns golden. Watch carefully. A note before recipes: Many bread recipes call for an 8x4-inch loaf pan. You can use a 9x5-inch pan, baking about 10 minutes less.
COCONUT BANANA BREAD 1 c. butter, melted 1-1/2 c. sugar 2 eggs 1 t. each, vanilla and rum extract 2 c. ripe bananas (about four large) 2-3/4 c. flour 1-1/4 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt 6 squares (1 oz. each) almond bark, coarsely chopped 1 c. each, flaked coconut and chopped pecans
In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar, mix well. Add eggs and extract; beat on high speed until thickened. Stir in bananas. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to banana mixture. Fold in last three ingredients. Turn into two greased 8x4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 70-75 minutes or test with a toothpick. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes two loaves.
ORANGE-CHIP CRANBERRY BREAD 2-1/2 c. flour 1 c. sugar 1 t. each, baking soda and baking powder 1/4 t. salt 2 eggs 3/4 c. canola oil 2 t. grated orange peel 1 c. buttermilk 1-1/2 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries 1 c. mini chocolate chips 1 c. chopped walnuts
In a mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine eggs, oil and orange peel; mix well. Add to dry ingredients alternately with buttermilkd. Fold in last three ingredients. Pour into two greased 8x4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or test with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack. Makes two loaves.
SPICY PUMPKIN BREAD 1 c. butter, softened 2 c. sugar 4 eggs 2 c. canned pumpkin 2 t. vanilla 3-3/4 c. flour 2 t. each, baking soda and cinnamon 1 t. nutmeg 3/4 t. salt 1/2 t. each cloves and ginger 2 c. chocolate chips 1 c. chopped walnuts
Glaze (Optional): 1 c. powdered sugar 2 T. water 1/4 t. each, nutmeg and cinnamon Dash ground cloves
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingreidents. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until moistened. Fold in chips and nuts. Spoon into two freased and lightly floured 8x4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees fro 65-75 minutes or test with toothpick. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack. If you wish, combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cooled loaves. If glaze is a bit runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
PINEAPPLE BANANA BREAD 1/2 c. butter, softened 1 c. sugar 2 eggs 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas (one large or two small) 1/3 c. well drained crushed pineapple 1/2 c. flaked coconut 2 c. flour 1 t. baking powder 1/2 t. each baking soda and salt
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine banana, pineapple and coconut. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Spoon into a greased and lightly floured 8x4-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 65-75 minutes or test with toothpick. Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove to wire rack. Makes one loaf. Note: If breads get too brown on top, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes.
Thought for the Day: Few things are as democratic as a snowstorm.