I make Christmas Eve magical with hot cocoa and toasted slices of this fragrant, fruit-studded bread. My son and I combined several recipes to come up with this winner. —Jackie Brown, Tully, New York
Featured In: Top 25 Food Gift Recipes
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup diced dried fruit
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 4 cups flour, yeast, cardamom, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat milk to 120°-130°; add to creamed mixture and beat until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle with fruit and raisins; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divided into eight portions. Shape into loaves. Place in eight greased 5-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- For frosting, in a small bowl, cream butter and shortening. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost loaves. Yield: 8 mini loaves.
Originally published as Sugarplum Spice Bread in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p51
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