I love making quick breads to give away. They make the perfect little gift and are always appreciated, especially at Christmas time. A few years back, I decided to try tossing some dried cranberries into our super moist banana bread recipe and this was born. My mother instantly fell in love and it has been a regular holiday recipe ever since.
The combination is sublime and perfect for the holidays! Those little party treat bags I always talk about are the perfect size for packaging this and I used the inexpensive bows I told you about in my Homemade Caramel Corn recipe for a quick and easy packaging option!
I really like mini loaves of bread and seldom make full sized ones. In this recipe, you can make two full sized loaves or eight minis! That means eight lucky folks can get this delicious bread from you as a special holiday treat!
You’ll need: Sugar, Milk, Self Rising Flour, Vanilla, Eggs, Margarine, Dried Cranberries, and Bananas. You can add nuts if you’d like, pecans or walnuts that have been chopped.
I tend to leave nuts out of most recipes due to the added expense.
If your bananas are a bit brown, that’s a good thing! They are sweeter and make much better banana bread. Another thing you can do if your bananas are getting brown is to go ahead and mash them up with a fork (after you peel them!) and place them in a zipper bag and put in the freezer. Make a note on the bag with a permanent marker as to how many bananas are in there and next time you want to make banana bread simply put the bag on your counter and let it thaw then toss them right in there! Works out perfect!
Y’all don’t worry about getting a specific brand of dried cranberry. A dried cranberry doesn’t know what the package it’s in says anyway.
Some of you may not have caught on to the fact that I have real issues with quantity. If one is good, one hundred is better! I cannot pass up a good deal and I do have a tendency to “accumulate” things which I feel are helpful or handy. Thus, this photograph. This shows some of my loaf pans. I got to looking and realized, I acutally have over forty loaf pans! Ten full sized and thirty small sized. some of these pictured still have labels attached..and that one on the bottom right is actually a stack of five, still stuck together exactly how they were packaged. Wanna know whats sad? I have more, I just didn’t want to dig them out!
What do I do with all of these loaf pans? Well I certainly don’t need them all and the amount did sneak up on me. You’ll be happy to know that I have started giving some away now!
I do come by this honest, though, and anyone who knows our family will tell you it is entirely my father’s fault! He is the ultimate “deal man”. He simply cannot pass up a good deal. Once, he found a deal on Christmas paper towels after the holiday season and we literally had an entire truckload of them stored in our garage. Nothing like blotting your mouth with Santa Claus in July! There was also that time he found tuna fish on sale and Mama had to clean out an entire closet for him to fill with canned tuna! I guess it would have helped if any of us actually liked tuna…
He also has his own issues with lightbulbs – one of the things they often did without growing up. In his house, you would literally carry the bulb from room to room with you. So now, anytime you go to my parent’s house, there will be at least a case or two of lightbulbs in the garage.
I could go on and on…but I guess you really wanted Cranberry Banana bread so I’ll hop down off this tangent and get back to cookin’…
Grease and flour your loaf pans. You can see I wasn’t real meticulous with this!
Now what I like to do for my banana bread is put my bananas in the mixer first and beat them until liquefied. This really makes a huge difference in the flavor, with banana flavor infused in every single morsel!
I just mix that for a minute or two until they look like this.
Now add your sugar and mix that up a bit.
Add your margarine.
Add eggs and milk
and vanilla..Not the best photograph but you get my point
Now add all of your flour in.
I pour my cranberries out onto a large plate and chop them up a bit but you don’t have to.
I just like having more pieces to disperse in my bread. To keep these from sinking in your bread, I suggest sprinkling a tablespoon or so of flour over them and tossing lightly with your hands. I didn’t do that for this bread and it turned out fine, but I normally do.
Add those in to your batter and stir.
Pour into loaf pans. This recipe makes two large loaves or eight small.
Fill them about halfway full and bake at 350 for30 minutes for small loaves, one hour for full sized loaves.
Yum! This was so funny, I was making this bread and my Brady was being positively tortured having to smell it because he wanted some so bad. I told him as soon as it was done he could have some. The bread got done and I turned out all of my loaves onto a towel I had on the counter. A few minutes later, here comes Brady holding an entire loaf and just a munching away! He ate the whole loaf, though! At least he likes his Mama’s cooking.
This is my quick and economical packaging idea. These are the treat bags you find in the party section (twenty for $1.38 last I checked) and the bows are found in the Christmas Decorating Department. I believe they were twenty for $3.00. There, for that little effort, you can have eight lovely gifts!
- 2 C sugar
- 1 C milk
- 1 package dried cranberries (I think mine was 6 oz)
- 1 C chopped nuts (optional)
- 3 C self rising flour
- 1 stick butter or margarine
- 2 eggs
- 3 bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Place peeled bananas in mixing bowl, add sugar. Mix until bananas are liquefied.
- Add margarine, mix until creamed together with banana mixture.
- Add all other ingredients and blend well. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans and bake for one hour at 350.
- If using mini loaf pans, this will make eight and they will need to cook for about half an hour.