Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cranberry-Sweet Potato Bread

Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving and Christmas (in fact, it isn't for Christmas at all in my family--but that's another story).  Last week, I decided to free up some precious space in my tiny little freezer and hauled out the turkey that had been hibernating there since before Thanksgiving.  (I used Alton Brown's brined roast turkey recipe; you should try it.)  Since I had the giblets and beautiful brown bits in the pan, I made homemade gravy to go with the turkey.  And you can't have gravy without mashed potatoes, so I made some of those, too.  And a pumpkin pie, because pie makes everything better.  And since I can never pass up an excuse to try a new recipe, I finished it all off with a loaf of this cranberry-sweet potato quick bread.  Yum.

Now I know that cranberries aren't exactly common co-op fare, but I still had a bag in the freezer from Thanksgiving, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one.  I've seen them recently at Aldi and Scott's/Kroger, so you can still get them.  I try not to pay more than $1 for a bag.  They keep well, too, if you find a good deal--just pop the whole bag in the freezer.  For this recipe, just make sure to thaw the cranberries first, so they aren't too hard to chop (I would recommend using a food processor; they tend to roll away from a knife blade).

Cranberry-Sweet Potato Bread
Yield:  1 loaf
Time:  1 hour, 25 minutes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium sweet potato, or you can use canned)
3 eggs
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
2 T. sliced almonds (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sweet potato, eggs, orange juice, and butter in a bowl; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moist. Fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; sprinkle almonds over batter (press them down a bit so they stick). Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

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