It’s that time of year when I get to break out the Swedish Pearl Sugar to create pretty baked goods! And this Cranberry Walnut Bread is a great way to use up any leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving. Sweet and tart at the same time, this family recipe gets a little extra citrus bump from a lesser known Sicilian extract.
The scent of Fiori di Sicilia is everything you love about holiday baking…citrus, sweet vanilla, maybe a hint of almond. If this is what Sicily smells like when the citrus trees blossom, I’d like to ride a bike through the countryside and just breathe it all in.
I have a little story about Sicily. When my grandma and great aunt immigrated from Sicily to America they were next in line to inherit a lemon orchard. When it was offered, they turned it down and passed it on to the next in line. They were happy in America and didn’t want to go back. If only I knew then! I would have moved and grown lemons in the Sicilian countryside with goats and sheep and chickens. It’s a nice thought on this cold, windy winter day.
Until I inherit a villa in the Italian countryside, we have Cranberry Walnut Bread with the essence of Sicily.
I love using Swedish Pearl Sugar to create a sprinkle of wintery white on my baked goods. It adds a little crunchy texture as well. If you’re not familiar with it, it doesn’t melt in the oven. Don’t ask me how the Swedes make it, but I’m a fan. The side of the box also says that you can make it colored by shaking the little sugar kernels in a plastic bag with a drop or two of food coloring. Haven’t tried it yet, but I’m liking that idea.
- 1½ cups fresh raw cranberries, cut in half
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
- juice and rind of 1 orange (you'll need ¾ cup juice, so you may need to juice an extra orange or add orange juice)
- 2 Tbs coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Fiori di Sicilia extract or vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- Swedish pearl sugar (optional)
- Combine cranberries with toasted walnuts and ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
- Combine 2 Tbs. coconut oil (melted), grated rind of one orange and ¾ cup warm orange juice. (you want the juice to be slightly warm so it doesn't harden the coconut oil when you mix them.) Add 1 tsp Fiori di Sicilia. Whisk to combine. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool, add one egg and whisk to combine. Add this to dry mixture.
- Gently stir only until the flour mixture is dampened.
- Stir the cranberry/walnut mixture into the batter and pour into a greased loaf pan. Push batter into corners of pan and shake to level.
- Let stand 20 minutes before baking.
- Top with Swedish pearl sugar and bake at 350F for 45 minutes to an hour, 20-25 minutes for mini loaves.