Sunday, November 29, 2015

Amaretto Cherry Bread

For me, it is hard to turn down a culinary treat with Amaretto. The tasty Italian liqueur has found its way into many types of recipes from meat to ice cream. Even though Amaretto does have a bitter almond flavor, it is made from apricot pits- it does not contain any almonds or nuts.

This loaf has the same texture as most sweet bread. However, it is the Amaretto that makes it a standout from the rest. With the addition of cherries and nuts, the flavors compliment each other nicely. Also, this is a go to recipe when you are looking for something quick to bake.

The bread is a great item to give as a gift, it transports well and the flavors get better with time. You will also find that it is a welcome addition to a cup of tea or coffee. One slice can squelch the craving for something sweet, but not heavy.

The recipe makes 3 small loaves.

Amaretto Cherry Bread
adapted from Recipe Goldmine

1/2 cup Amaretto
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped almonds or chopped nuts
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
powdered sugar (optional for dusting top of loaves)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the interior of 3 loaf pans (5.5 X 3) and line bottom and 2 long sides with parchment paper.

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute then mix in one egg at a time, until all is blended and set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

Fold 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the butter batter. Stir in 1/4 cup of Amaretto.  Repeat the process, ending with the flour after the last 1/4 cup of Amaretto.  Once batter is smooth, mix in the cherries and nuts until evenly distributed.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the loaf pans. Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean. The bake time averages between 40-50 minutes. Loaves will have a golden hue on the surface when done.

Place pans on cooling rack and let bread cool completely in pans. If you prefer, the top can be dusted with powdered sugar right before slicing and serving.

Tips and Notes:
1. I used 2 standard loaf pans, but there was not much height to the loaves. The smaller loaf pans do allow for more height.

2. I used pecans, but you can use any type of chopped nuts, depending on personal preference.

3. Do not use any frozen fruit in syrup, buy the flash frozen type that has no syrup.  Make sure the cherries are thawed before putting into batter.
                                        **LAST YEAR:Coconut Chocolate Chip Cupcakes**