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Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Chocolate-Cashew Bread

Another quick bread from the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine. This one is drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped cashews; it looks lovely and tastes delicious.

The recipe can also be made with hazelnuts. A quibble with the magazine: the recipe doesn't specify what type of cashews to use. Roasted-salted? Unsalted? No hints are given, so I assumed that roasted-salted nuts would be fine. They tasted good in the bread, but I'm curious about the recipe's "cashews or hazelnuts" choice. If we're to assume that roasted cashews are what's called for, then should the hazelnuts also be roasted? It sounds logical to me, but this is a call you'll have to make for yourself, because the editors of Holiday Baking aren't saying. If you decide to use hazelnuts, toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until they start to turn golden.

A note about cooking times: the magazine's cooking times were slightly longer than mine for both this loaf and the Eggnog Quick Bread. I've reduced the times from what the magazine indicates, but you may need to cook the loaves for slightly longer than I've indicated. Just keep checking every couple of minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf, about 12 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, safflower, canola, etc.)
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped cashews or hazelnuts
1/2 tsp shortening
Coarsely chopped cashews or hazelnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8-by-4-by-2-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, and oil. Stir well to combine. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the 1 cup of cashews.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool on the rack. Before serving, combine remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and the 1/2 tsp of shortening in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the loaf, and if desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Let stand until chocolate is set.

 

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.