Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yep, Christmas Was For Baking

About every other year, I go on a baking binge at Christmas time. Years ago it was 24 different kinds of cookies. Well, I reigned it in this year and only did five kinds of bread. It satisfies that homey instinct and gives me something reasonably inexpensive to give to neighbors. Finally, my husband gets to taste all of the extras. Everybody wins! Below are the five I made this year.

Coconut Bread



4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. coconut flavoring
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. coconut flavoring


Bread: Beat eggs in large bowl.  Blend in sugar, vegetable oil, and 2 tsp. coconut flavoring.  Sift in flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Mix.  Blend in buttermilk.  Fold in flaked coconut.  Spoon into greased and floured pans.

Bake at 325 degrees (lower for glass pans) for 1 1/2 hours for 9 x 5 inch loaf (less time for mini loaves). While still hot and in pans, pour glaze over; it will soak in as you pour.  Allow to stand for 4 hours before removing from pans.

Glaze: Mix ingredients (except flavoring) and boil and stir for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring.

Source:  This recipe came from a sister-in-law more than 25 years ago, Shannon Hansen.

Notes: I wish I had gotten a better picture but I had already bagged them when I remembered. The bread is a little too fragile to take out again.  But this is a rave recipe and I'm always asked for the recipe every time I give it as a gift. So, Jana Q, this recipe is coming your way.

Strawberry Coconut Bread


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 large)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut oil, heated if needed to become more liquid
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries


Heat oven to 350".  Grease an 8x4 inch loaf with shortening or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

In medium bowl, beat egg, mashed banana, milk and oil with whisk until well blended. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in half the strawberries. Spoon batter into pan. Scatter remaining strawberries over top.

Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely about 1 hour.

Source: Betty You can find it here.

Cook's notes: This was exceptionally pretty bread. Niel said it was his favorite of them all. Very moist. The coconut oil is kind of funky and looks like lard, but it was worth searching for. Not all stores will carry it.

Hawaiian Banana Bread


1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter of margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar (3 1/2 ounces) macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted
1/2 cup flaked coconut


Move oven rack to lowest position.  Heat oven to 350 degrees f.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches or loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.

Stir together sugar and butter in large bowl.  Stir in eggs until well blended.  Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.  Beat with wire whisk until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened.  Stir in nuts and coconut.  Pour into pans.

Bake 8 inch loaves about 1 hour, 9 inch loaves about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack.  Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.  Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Mini loaves:  Grease bottoms only of 10 miniature loaf pans 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches.  Divide batter among pans (about 1/2 cup each).  Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Source:  Betty You can find it here.

Cook's notes: I baked all of these breads in mini loaf pans. You just have to fill the pans no more than 3/4 full and check at about 1/2 the cooking time alotted. Most mini pans come in varying sizes. This recipe was good, but not a favorite. I think it cooked it a tad bit long.

Eggnog Quick Bread


2 eggs, beaten
1 cup eggnog
2 teaspoons rum flavored extract
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom only of a 9x5 in loaf pan or 3 3x5 inch loaf pans.

Blend the butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add eggnog, and rum and vanilla extracts.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to eggnog mixture and stir by hand just enough to moisten. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake large loaf for 40 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Breads baked in the smaller pans require 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Cook completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in refrigerator.

Source:, submitted by Bev. You can find it here.

Cook's notes: I changed up the order of mixing to make it a little more traditional. The original recipe mixed all the wet ingredients together at once and it left funky chunks of butter in the batter.

Butterscotch Bread (Brown Sugar Bread)


4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9x5 loaf pans. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter all at once. Mix just enough to moisten. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Source:, submitted by Thomas OReilly. You can find it here.

Cook's notes:  The original name is butterscotch bread, but I don't think that name really fits it. I think it threw off a lot of the commentators on the original post.  The expectation of butterscotch is something really rich and creamy and this bread is actually not very rich.  It's a subtle flavor and it kind of was good to have a switch-out from the oversweet goodies falling down upon us at Christmas time.

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