Three women — giggling and giddy moms — gathered in Suzy’s splendid kitchen to bake cranberry bread and make peanut butter balls for our Thanksgiving holiday. The counter tops and floors were sparkling before we got to work making the best ever cranberry coffee cake. But once my hands were wrist deep in a peanut butter confectioner sugar mixture, Suzy’s pristine kitchen was doomed as the powdered sugar swirled around like freshly falling snow. As she watched, she gently reminded me that her kitchen had just been cleaned.
You see, I’ve already been banned from Suzy’s kitchen making potato latkes and host all greasy latke making sessions in my kitchen. Now we can add anything made with powdered sugar to the list! Mess or no mess, did we have a blast laughing and howling about life as we rolled those balls. I think this picture I snapped of my friends well captures the crazy, frenetic energy of our time spent together in the kitchen. So please forgive me from not showing a photo of the moist crumbled top orange cranberry coffee cake. I just couldn’t pass up the joy of this picture. And so often the food does become the backdrop to the splendid happenings between friends in the kitchen.
I will share our recipe so that you can also serve this fantastic bread for your Thanksgiving but the most important ingredient is to make it with a friend. And since I can’t supply that, you’ll have to find one yourself. Enjoy!
Best Ever Cranberry Coffee Cake Bread
Makes 1 8×8 cake
½ stick butter softened
½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 ½ cups chopped whole cranberries
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish with baking spray.
Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the vanilla, zest and egg. Mix well. Gradually add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the orange juice and buttermilk and fold in the chopped cranberries.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. To prepare the topping, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter until a crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle on top of the cake and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch.