Monday, February 19, 2018


This recipe came from my "sister-cousin" Marie. Being an only child, I was fortunate enough to have two cousins who were more like sisters to me than cousins when I was growing up. Our mothers were sisters and we grew up with 38 miles of each other. They often went on vacations with my parents and me. The other unique thing about Marie and "Sissy" is that they are "double first cousins" because their mothers who were sisters were married to brothers. Marie's mother is the only one of our parents who is still living. Sissy's daddy died a few days after Christmas. We were in CO with our older son and his family having our Christmas with them. Instead of coming back to Kansas City, my husband and I drove to Northeast LA for his services. That's when I discovered Marie's delicious tasting Cranberry Nut Bread. She brought a mini-loaf of it along with several other varieties that she had made and frozen before Christmas. When we were leaving, Sissy offered one of the loaves to me.

We enjoyed it so much that after we got back to KC, I sent Marie a text asking her for the recipe. She was more than happy to share it with me. Marie made three mini loaves but I made only two. I like my mini loaves to almost fill the pan and rise nicely when they bake. She had these cute little bags decorated with holiday motif that she had frozen the mini loaves in. My mini loaf would not have fit in her bags. It is an excellent recipe to bake and give as gifts during the holidays. You can freeze them as Marie does and then have them available if an occasion arises to give them to someone (as Marie did). You can also just make them to enjoy for yourselves.


2         cups flour
1         cup white sugar (I used 1/2 cup stevia/sugar baking blend)
1-1/2   teaspoon baking powder
1         teaspoon salt
1/2      teaspoon baking soda
3/4      cup orange juice
1         tablespoon dried orange peel
2         tablespoons mayonnaise (I used salad dressing)
1         egg, well beaten
1-1/2   cup dried cranberries (I chopped them up a little since I was making mini loaves)
1/2      cup chopped walnuts or favorite nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a larger loaf pan (9 x 5 or 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 - inches) with nonstick cooking spray. You can also use 2 or 3 mini pans. (Marie uses 3 mini pans. I used 2 because I like my mini loaves to be generous.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda using a whisk.

Stir in orange juice, orange peel, mayo or salad dressing, and egg.
Mix just until blended. (I started with the whisk and changed to my wooden spoon.)

Stir in the dried cranberries and walnuts.

Spread evenly in larger loaf pan or separate evenly in mini loaf pans. (If you want the loaf to look nicely with the dried cranberries "bursting out", make sure they are at the top of the batter. Notice the one in the dark pan.)

Bake for 55 minutes for larger loaf or about 45 minutes for mini loaves. Check doneness with a toothpick.

Cool on rack for 15 minutes in pans.

Remove and finish cooling on rack. 

Use plastic wrap or foil to store. Freezes well.

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