Cranberry-Cornmeal Quick Bread

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It's Monday Night Martha time again. We've just finished Thanksgiving and already we have a birthday party to throw for a six year old. With no desire to eat cupcakes right now - though we are making them for the kids - or to sample another piece of pumpkin pie, we spy this recipe for cranberry-cornmeal quick bread. It sounds pretty good, and not too sweet. And, best of all we happen to have a leftover bag of fresh cranberries purchased for Thanksgiving in the refrigerator. We decide to make it as an alternative for the adults.

To begin, you stir one and 1/4 cups fresh cranberries (We used the whole 12 oz. bag) in a half stick of butter and three tablespoons sugar over medium heat until the butter and sugar have dissolved and the cranberries are well coated. Continue cooking until the cranberries pop. This mixture gets poured into the bottom of a loaf pan.

Next you make the batter by mixing butter and sugar, gradually adding two eggs and then a mixture of flour, a 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then to add a little zing you finely chop 1 Tablespoon of candied ginger and fold into the mixture. The batter gets poured over the cranberries in the bread pan. We found the dough to be a little thick for pouring and had to distribute the batter with hands and a spatula.

Finally you cook for 35 minutes at 350, then let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning the pan upside down to release the bread. We were a little nervous when we inverted our bread, because the recipe did not call for greasing the pan prior to adding any ingredients, but the cranberry cornmeal bread fell out of the pan intact and without incident.

The color of the cranberries is beautiful and we were impressed with how festive our bread looked next to the chips and popcorn and other birthday party fare. Not one adult opted for a cupcake but several did try the bread. The consensus: It was tasty, not overly sweet, the cornmeal gives it a nice texture and it would be enjoyable for breakfast.

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