A quick bread is a delicious treat that’s either sweet or savory; it can eaten as a dessert or sliced for breakfast. You probably already have the basics for the batter in your fridge and pantry; from there, you can customize the flavor combinations you like. This particular recipe is a Chocolate Chip, Cranberry & Orange Quick Bread, and instead of making full loaves, I made mini loaves, three dozen to be precise, for a friend who wanted to hand them out as gifts.
I love giving the gift of something homemade no matter the time of year. A dear friend, who’s had a difficult year, asked me if I’d be willing to bake for her, and I didn’t hesitate for one second. I’ve also had a difficult year, but baking these darlings lifted my spirits. It was more about being able to give to someone else that made me happy – that’s the Christmas spirit. Three dozen of anything is a daunting amount, especially as my work schedule is crazy, but I found myself happily baking after work and then in the morning before work. The best thing about making this treat — it’s just as it says, quick! One week later, the mini loaves where nestled snuggly among mounds of paper and on their way to California.
I decided to do Chocolate Chip and Cranberries because I already had both on hand, but think about some of your favorite flavor combos, perhaps its banana and macadamia nuts, or a chocolate chip and coconut and if you wanted to take the savory route, some great ideas might include, Rosemary and Cheddar Cheese or a Whole Wheat Zuchhini.
A quick bread is a great way to say thank you to someone or to bring as a gift, your friends will think of you every time they slice a piece.
Chocolate Chip, Cranberry & Orange Quick Bread
This recipe makes two (2) 9" x 5" loaves
- 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 cups Sugar
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 cups Orange Juice
- 2 tbs Orange Zest
- 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature 1 stick
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbs Vanilla Paste or Extract
- 2 cups Fresh Cranberries, whole or frozen
- 1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips, semi-sweet or milk mini or regular
Preheat the oven to 350*. two 9” x 5 disposable loaf pans with cooking spray (I like the one with flour)
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then whisk to combine.
In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, orange juice, zest, melted butter and vanilla. Spoon in the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and combine well. (You may wish to put a towel over the front of the mixer, so the flour mixture doesn’t erupt out of the bowl). Do not over mix. Add the chocolate chips and cranberries and mix again.
Spoon the batter between the two pans and bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating at the halfway point. You want a nice golden-brown top and when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean, your bread it done.
Cool on a rack and then slide a knife around the edge to loosen and remove.