One of those things that I’ve assigned myself as the woman of the house, is taking care of Christmas gifts for everyone. Philip does gifts for me (and does an amazing job every year), and likes to help with Peanut’s gifts if we happen to be out together, but besides that I take care of everyone — his parents, his family, his co-workers, etc. I really like being in charge of this because it makes me feel like a good wife, and plus I really like to give gifts.
For his co-workers, it’s become a yearly tradition to make Christmas bread. It’s simple, it’s pretty, it’s delicious, and everyone likes a good sweet bread (right?). I didn’t really plan on doing it every year, but the first year we were married I made it and his boss ate the entire loaf before he got home. I mentioned it to his wife a week or so later and she had no idea we’d even given them bread! The next year he asked Philip if I was going to make it again, and the tradition was born. (also, I don’t think he saved any for his wife on year two!).
This year Philip is in a smaller office, so I only made three loaves. Much easier and faster than my usual seven or eight.
The bread is actually a coffee cake recipe from Betty Crocker’s cookbook, but it makes a fantastic bread, and a loaf is a little bit less weird than giving your co-workers a coffee cake, no?
So go make some and if you plan to give it away, at least make one extra loaf so you don’t miss out on the deliciousness.
Christmas Bread (makes 2 loafs)
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sour cream
Brown Sugar Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (optional; I’ve never put them in)
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans.
2. Prepare brown sugar filling and set aside.
3. Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla & eggs in large bowl with
electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes. Mix flour, baking powder,
baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately
into sugar mixture on low speed until blended.
4. Spread 1/4 of the batter (about 1-1/2 cups) into each pan, then sprinkle each with one fourth of the filling; repeat once.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool slightly; remove from pans and place top side up
on wire rack. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm
or cool (but it’s best warm!)