Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.  ~Elsa Schiaparelli



No one knows for sure how cranberries became associated with holiday feasts, but historians guess that it had something to do with the Native Americans, who used cranberries not only for food and medicine but also to make dyes for clothing and blankets. As far as healthy foods go, cranberries are at the top of the list due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content and are often referred to as a "super food." Fresh cranberries, which contain the highest levels of beneficial nutrients, are at their peak from October through December, just in time to add their festive hue, tart tangy flavor and numerous health protective effects to your holiday meals. When cranberries' short fresh season is past, rely on unsweetened cranberry juice made from whole berries and dried or frozen cranberries to help make every day throughout the year a holiday from disease.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (I added a little more because I love the tart flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Kerigold unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8oz) package organic cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, room temperature
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray. You can also use 2 muffin pans. It yields about 18 muffins.  
  2. Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl or mixer, then beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt until combined. Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, stirring until just incorporated.
  4. Gently fold in cranberries, then pour mixture into greased loaf pan. (I actually used another smaller loaf pan because the mixture was too much for just one pan)
  5. Place in oven and bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Cream Cheese Cranberry Loaf
by Decatur MacPherson
and Donna Bradbury

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