A simple and hearty quick-bread filled with dried fruit and nuts.
It’s officially the start of baking season, and I for one am ready to pull out those mixing bowls and crank up the oven!
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of biting into a warm cookie , or the lingering scent of baked goods in the air. And while bold flavors like cinnamon and ginger tend to dominate this time of year, I also appreciate the more subtle flavors of this fruit and nut cake.
No, not the often mocked and reviled fruitcake, but a quick-bread with a hearty yet understated character that’s nothing like the aforementioned artificially colored candied fruit nightmare. This loaf is packed with chewy bits of dried fruit like dates, raisins and cherries along with nuggets of pecans and hazelnuts, in a batter lightly scented of vanilla with just a pinch of cinnamon.
It’s a snacking cake, the kind you serve for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon nibble, warm or toasted with plenty of butter alongside. It’s just barely sweet so as to stand up to both sweet and savory toppings like fruit butters, sliced pears, a spread of goat cheese or melted brie.
What I also love is that it’s a one bowl kind of loaf that doesn’t even require a mixer. Everything is quickly stirred together and poured into the pan (or muffin tins if you prefer) within minutes. What you end up with is a bread that’s moist, chewy, dense and nutty in every bite. If you’re need a hostess gift this season, consider doubling the recipe and wrapping up a loaf to take with you as it keeps well for days.
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