Every year at Christmas time I say to myself, “I going to start earlier next year.” Meaning, start the holiday shopping, baking, card-making and all the other stuff that goes along with Christmas. I truly enjoy doing these things, and I would certainly cut back and eliminate if things got too crazy. But putting these things off until the month of December, when I know I could at least start in say, October, would certainly make things less stressful come 13 days until Christmas.
I always enjoy giving friends and neighbors some goodies during the holidays. I always feel its a nice way of expressing your gratitude and truly giving thanks for having them in our lives. This year, I’m planning on giving some loaves of these pretty Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread. They are perfect for gift-giving, wrapping up and taking to your loved ones.
They are quite easy to wrap up with cellophane and some pretty ribbon. I have a mini-loaf pan that divides a standard quick-bread recipe into four loaves. You can also do a standard loaf pan, too! Any way you do it, this bread is great for when you have company over the holidays, or a nice treat with your coffee.
The flavors of the almonds and maraschino cherries taste wonderful together! I LOVE almond flavoring so I top the loaves off with some sliced almonds, and when they’re done baking I add an easy glaze with a splash of almond extract. The flavor is wonderful, and the cherries make them extra festive for the holidays.
- 2½ c. flour
- 3½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ½ c. brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1¼ c. milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 (10 oz.) jar, Maraschino Cherries, drained and quartered
- ½ c. almonds, chopped
- ¼ c. almonds, sliced
- For glaze:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" loaf pan with non-stick spray. (You can also use 2- 8" pans, or 4-mini 6" loaf pans.)
- In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the sugars, oil, milk, and egg. Combine these wet ingredients until smooth. With a whisk, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth.
- Fold in the cherries and ½ c. chopped almonds. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and top the batter with the sliced almonds.
- Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes for the 9" pan. (45-48 min. for 7" pans, and 40-45 minutes for the mini loafs.) Insert with a toothpick, if comes out clean (no crumbs sticking), its done.
- Let loaves cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan(s), then let cool completely on a cooling rack. Combine powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. of milk, and ½ tsp. almond extract. Drizzle over loaves.
I hope you get to enjoy a loaf of this delicious bread. I know this time of year goes by quickly. Make sure to take some time to stop, take a moment and savor the season. Enjoy it with your family, kids and grandkids. Its what this time of year is all about!
May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season!