Eggnog is always a big holiday favorite in my family, and since I’m always looking for a treat that’ll make a splash, I was all over this!
I originally saw this bread on the Sprinkle Bakes blog, and was absolutely determined to make it exactly as Heather had. It looked so fabulous, why mess with it? The only problem is that I was having no luck finding the fruit cake mix the recipe called for.
It was probably due to the fact that it was so close to Christmas or maybe because I was flustered (which happens when you wait until the night before you need the bread to bake it).
Regardless, after two grocery stores and an hour wasted wandering up and down aisles, I grabbed a tried-and-true favorite: cranberries. Cranberries! Perfect! If there were a favorite holiday fruit in my house, cranberries would be it.
I used baking cranberries, but I know that frozen cranberries and other dried cranberry products would work just as well. Another note, I wanted to add candied orange peels to give it the slightly chewy notes that Heather raved about in her post, but was unable to find those, too. Bummer! But I would still recommend throwing those in your dough.
Since I was making so many changes to the recipes (ack!), I decided to make a few more flavor enhancements. Without the chewy goodness and variety of flavor from the fruit cake mix, I upped the amount of ‘nog and rum extract, emphasizing the eggnog of the bread. Oh, and I upped the glaze. I’m a glaze girl, what can I say?
1 3/4 cups prepared eggnog
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups powdered, sifted
1 cup prepared eggnog
Handful of dried cranberries for garnish
Beat eggs, eggnog and oil in a large bowl. Mix in sugar and extracts until well-combined. Sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture, being sure to fully incorporate each scoop before adding another.
In a small bowl, toss cranberries in the remaining flour, then stir into the mixture. Fold walnuts into the dough.
Pour mixture into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. What I recommend is having the loaves spend 30 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven and then rotate to the top rack for the remaining 30 minutes. The first time I made this quick bread, I accidentally burned the bottom of the bread before I was able to cook it all the way through. (Whoops!)
Regardless, when a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center of the loaf, your bread is done! Let them sit in their pans for ten minutes before removing them from pans and placing them on wire racks to finish cooling.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine eggnog and powdered sugar, stirring until a thick glaze forms. When you lift the whisk from the bowl, the glaze should fall in a thick stream like a ribbon. Drizzle the glaze over the two loaves. And then maybe a second layer. And then maybe a third! (Yum!)
Sprinkle dried cranberries over the top for added decoration. Store the bread in air-tight containers. If giving as a gift, be sure to refrigerate bread if not being given in a Tupperware-esque container.