Cranberry Hazelnut Bread by the Parsley Thief

cranberryhazelnutbreadWith Thanksgiving fast approaching this festive Cranberry Hazelnut Bread recipe from our friend Katie, The Parsley Thief, seemed a perfect one to showcase. And of course with Cranberries on special this week in (12 oz bags, 2/$4) the timing is even better! “I’ve waited an entire year to make this recipe. It wasn’t by choice either, or because I just never got around to it, or because I think cranberries should only be enjoyed in November. Cranberries are great all Winter long. And this Cranberry Hazelnut Bread is great all Winter long. I sampled this particular version at a family dinner about a year ago, and was surprised by how much I liked it. I couldn’t place what it was I liked so much about it, until it occurred to me that it was the hazelnuts! While pecans, or walnuts seem to be the more popular choice in most cranberry bread recipes, hazelnuts are by far the winner in my book. Even with pesky hazelnut skins to deal with, this recipe is simple. It’s two bowls, no mixer, and tastes great even days later. Believe it or not, both my kids loved this bread too! I love it warm from the oven with a smear of cream cheese. My boys loved it toasted with butter.

Cranberry Hazelnut Bread

Yields: 1 loaf
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine, November 2011
If you decide to make this bread at any time of year besides November, you might have a hard time finding fresh cranberries. In that case, you can substitute frozen. My favorite way to eat this bread is smeared with cream cheese, but it’s also delicious sliced and toasted with butter!

ingredients:
1 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted buttermelted
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

you’ll also need:
a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2)
extra butter, or non-stick cooking spray to grease the pan

method:
Preheat oven to 350˚. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. After roasting, pour them onto a clean dish towel and rub vigorously until most of the skins are removed (some stubborn skins will remain, but that’s okay). Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.

Grease the loaf pan. Add the flour, sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts and cranberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top browns too quickly you can tent the pan with foil. Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter, cream cheese, or just as is!

To Store: Let the bread cool completely before wrapping. Store at room temperature for a day, or two. For longer storage, you can refrigerate the bread for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

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