Due to a struggling economy and a limited budget, my family’s gift giving will be somewhat limited this year. We’ve discussed options with our immediate and extended family members such as buying gifts under a certain cost, holding a Pollyanna or purchasing no gifts at all.
Still, I feel obligated to give certain friends, family members and co-workers a small token of my appreciation. Therefore, I will be passing along this inexpensive Cherry-Berry Bread to those I feel will need or deserve a little extra holiday cheer!
To make enough mix to make four (4) loaves of bread (just think – four gifts done!) you will need the following ingredients:
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Quaker oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned), uncooked
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
To prepare the mix, first combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Once well mixed, add the remaining ingredients and mix again. Transfer the mixture into a re-sealable bag and store it in a cool, dry place until you are ready to bake your loaves.
When you are ready to bake your bread you will need the following ingredients:
- 3/4 cup honey (I use Organic Honey by Dutch Goldfor this recipe)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray four 6 x 3-3/4-inch disposable aluminum foil mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Place bread mix in large bowl. In small bowl, combine honey, milk, butter and eggs with wire whisk or fork; mix well. Add the wet mix to the dry mix all at once; stir until the whole mixture is moistened. Do not over-mix! Pour the bread mix into the pans, dividing evenly.
Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until tops of breads feel firm when touched and wooden pick inserted near the center has few moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. The bread can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or can be frozen for longer storage.
Ideas to consider before giving your gifts…
Each loaf can be wrapped in cellophane and given alone or can be included as part of a gift basket. If you choose to make a gift basket you can add inexpensive items such as an assortment of Christmas teas, a teapot, or a variety of chocolates to the basket. The basket can be wrapped and tagged in a fun, festive fashion. Don’t forget to include the recipe to your Cherry-Berry bread!
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