10.20.2010

orange apricot date nut bread and a little swinging in the trees

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There is another thing I find myself craving this time of year; moist and flavorful quick breads. There's pumpkin, zucchini, gingerbread...and then there's date nut. Lovely dates and dried apricots soaked in luscious Grand Marnier and tossed with pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and fresh grated ginger. Oh my!

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This orange apricot date nut bread is so scrumptious!
I would love to bake up some mini loaves to give as gifts for the holidays.

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I spotted these oranges at the store the other day. I have no idea what variety they are. They weren't very pretty on the outside but they were oh-so-pretty on the inside and I've never been able to get so much juice out of an orange in my life. I squeezed nearly 1 cup of juice out of 2 small oranges. Amazing! Sorry, I tend to get excited over the smallest things in this life. :D

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I also wanted to share some fun photos from my daughter's last field trip. This place is incredible! It's called Tree 2 Tree Adventure Park and it's about an hour outside of the Portland area in Gaston, Oregon.

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It's like an obstacle course up in the trees.

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Participants are connected at all times to zip lines for safety as they maneuver their way through the course. There are different courses, each one a little more challenging than the last.

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There are long zip lines to glide down as well.

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Everyone had such a blast! I have a fear of heights but after experiencing all of the fun from the ground I'm almost ready to join them up in the trees next time...maybe.

Orange Apricot Date Nut Bread
by theUngourmet

1/2 cup coarsely chopped apricots
1 cup coarsely chopped dates
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray oil bottom of one large loaf pan or two regular sized loaf pans. Line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the apricots, dates, ginger, orange zest and Grand Marnier. Allow to sit for thirty minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed for about one minute, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the eggs, honey and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and orange juice alternately to the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in the apricot date mixture and the pecans by hand.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s). Bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for about ten minutes and then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Note: I happened to have an oversized loaf pan that worked great for this recipe. If you have regular size loaf pans (9x5x2) you will want to use two pans.

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Hope you are enjoying your week!





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39 comments:

☺lani☺ said...

Wow, nice presentation and looks yum too! I bet after swinging in the trees, that would be a great treat for them :) Have a nice day!

BarbaraJean said...

Yes, I would love a small loaf... consider this my order! :)

Bo said...

The bread sounds great...I always think the ugliest oranges taste the best...The tree park sounds like fun...I'd like to do it.

love lives in the kitchen said...

hi kim,
your recipie looks just great! i need to try it! and what a lovely adventure! i would try it too!
have a sweet day,
justyna

Koek! said...

Mmmm, I can just imagine how amazing that smells coming out the oven!
Robyn x

♥peachkins♥ said...

stunning photos of yummy bread!

pigpigscorner said...

This is loaded with yummy stuff! I like quick breads too, hate kneading!

UtMomCooks said...

About to head to my mom's in Florida for a few days and her favorite bread is date nut! I always bake a few things while I am there to stick in her freezer and this one is going with me! Perfect timing! Thanx - it looks delish!

Faith said...

This bread is full of delicious goodies! I think mini loaves would be really pretty and perfect for the holidays!

Wow, does your daughter's field trip look like fun!

TKW said...

We never took cool field trips like that--we just got stuck at the museum.

The bread looks delicious--you always make the best treats.

Joanne said...

Would you believe that I've actually never had date nut bread? True story. With the dried apricots and orange infusion, it sounds delicious.

I'm totally afraid of heights too. I'd so be with you on the ground.

Debbie said...

That orange looks incredible. And the recipe? Yum!!

Jennifurla said...

I could never do that course, I would faint!

I love that orange, so very pretty and your bread looks like it is really filled with goodness.

Bridgett said...

Quick breads are always the best and this one sounds heavenly.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow what an amazing bread (can I add to citrus growers blog?)

and man love the adventure course that is too cool I want to go

Rebecca

Janice said...

Oh my goodness my mouth is watering, Ijust love apricots, dates and nuts. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Claudia said...

Love quick breads and the addition of orange and apricot in this is so sunny. Love the swinging in the trees photos - oh once upon a time - before I turned 40 and found out heights are not as much fun as they used to be...

Pam said...

Beautiful and delicious looking bread! I love the combination of flavors.

I am off to check out at the website for the adventure park...I've never heard of it but think it would be great for my family!

Danielle said...

that course must've been a blast. Not that I could get up the nerve to do it.
What a wonderful recipe. I think this year will be a year of bread baking as gifts and you're right, this would make a wonderful gift!

Angie's Recipes said...

I have problem with the height too.
Orange, apricot, date, nut...wow...that sounds like a loaf in heaven!

Reeni said...

What a glorious bread! Packed with all kinds of tempting flavors. It looks like your daughter had a great time - you won't catch me up there!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oooh mini loaves as holiday gifts is a great idea!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

This date bread is definitely being tried over here! It must taste wonderful with that grand marnier!

baking.serendipity said...

I love quick breads this time of year, but have never tried one similar to this. It sounds delicious!

Donna-FFW said...

Gee, I thought you might have gotten naughty when you said swinging in the trees.. sorry couldnt esist:)

I'll have a slice of that gorgeous bread with my spiked tea please!!

Monet said...

Your sweet daughter is one brave and precious girl! I'm also terribly afraid of heights, so it would take a lot to get me up there. This bread looks and sounds delicious. I imagine the citrus adds such brightness. Thank you for sharing with me!

Barbara said...

What great photos of your daughter's field trip! Never heard of this place!

And ditto on the sweet breads...I love 'em! Never can have enough recipes. The apricots/orange loaf looks marvelous.

Velva said...

I crave nut breads and quick loves almost all year. Your orange apricot bread really brings it up to a new level. This is a wonderful autumn nut bread.

Welcome to autumn.

Velva

Heavenly Housewife said...

I too just adore these types of quick breads (which i like to call cake breads). THis one wounds awesome, love the flavours you've used.
Have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

Sophie said...

A divine & lusciously looking quick bread & what fun pictures to share with us!!

MMMMMMM,...

Jenn said...

Hehehe...Looks like a fun trip. Glad you guys had fun. I think I would be petrified. I have a little thing for heights, too. But maybe a slice of that bread would calm me down, eh? :)

Dawn (Bee and Rose) said...

Wow! Your daughter is brave!

That recipe is amazing! This is the perfect gift for my mom...she loves dates and oranges! I can't wait to try it:)

(huge halloween giveaway over at my blog!)

Jeannie said...

I am so drooling over that photo! So yummy looking!

Emily Z said...

Such great flavors in this bread! It sounds delicious and so perfect for this time of year!

Julie said...

What a fun field trip! I'd definitely be watching from the ground too!

Beth said...

Your bread looks lovely. And it looks like your daughter had an amazing time!

~Kathie~ said...

The bread looks amazing!! Love your photography! Looks like a fun field trip for your daughter!

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this looks so delicious! your photos are just stunning. thank you for sharing.

Natalie said...

what an amazing flavor combination--bookmarking! :)

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