Christmas Bread: Gifts for the Holidays
Mexican Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Got a boatload of zucchini? A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. This decadent twist spices up classic zucchini bread with cocoa powder, cinnamon, a rich chocolate glaze, and roasted pepitas. Easy-to-make, incredibly moist, and intensely chocolatey, this Mexican Chocolate Zucchini Bread is sure to be a new favorite.
Grapefruit Poppy Seed Muffins
These delightfully tender, not-too-sweet muffins are a delicious twist on the classic lemon poppy seed combo. Grapefruit works exceptionally well in this context, as the flavor comes through delicately, without any of the citrus fruit’s signature bitterness. And the flavors of both the star ingredients of the grapefruit-Champagne glaze shine through deliciously, truly setting these beauties apart, especially in terms of brunch-worthiness. After you’ve set aside a tablespoon for the muffins, simply use the rest of your bottle of Champagne (or you can also use Prosseco) to whip up a round of mimosas.
Tuscan Pignoli-Orange Zucchini Bread
Got a boatload of zucchini? A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. With bright citrusy notes, toasty pine nuts, and a delightful texture delivered by the blend of semolina and almond flours, this Italian-inspired uptake on your typical zucchini bread is sure to impress.
Powdered Sugar Donut Monkey Bread
Featuring mini powdered sugar donuts, this whimsical twist on monkey bread is the perfect sweet centerpiece for a casual brunch get-together.
No-Knead Lightly Rye Bread
Ready to try your hand at bread baking? This simple, no-knead bread is the perfect recipe to start with. The easy-to-follow recipe yields a delightfully chewy, crisp-crusted, bakery-style boule and is an excellent yeasted bread for a novice bread maker to build confidence (and impress guests) with. Small additions of whole-wheat and rye flours give the loaf a great depth of flavor and chew without affecting the bread’s ability to rise. Beyond being simple to make, this no-knead loaf is ready to enjoy in a fraction of the time required to make many traditional yeasted breads. A touch of molasses not only adds a little flavor, but it speeds up the yeast growth, as does using warm water in the dough. Allowing a 4-hour proof time gives the yeast enough opportunity to grow and time to develop flavor. This bread is fantastic warm from the oven, would be marvelous served alongside soup, and absolutely sings when lightly toasted and served at breakfast. We love it with a simple smear of butter, as well as with slightly more dynamic spreads like this savory Pear, Olive, and Walnut Chutney.
Try this bread sandwiched with ham and apple slices, or cut it into cubes and toast it to make croutons for salads and soups.
Mix the batter only until the dry ingredients disappear. (Lumps are normal.) Overmixing causes tough or misshapen loaves.
Day-old scones are firm enough to slice open without crumbling. Tuck in a few paper-thin slices of country ham for an unforgettable ham "biscuit."
Sugar-Frosted Cardamom Braid
Like yeast breads in Scandinavia, this beautiful braided loaf is scented with spicy-sweet cardamom, an aromatic spice used in baked goods and curries. A little lemon zest adds more lush flavor, and then the sweet, easy-to-make bread is frosted with sugar.
Mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves
Perfect for gift giving, these mini loaves have just the right balance of holiday spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Top the loaves with cream cheese icing before giving or wrap un-iced loaves individually and present with a small jar of icing.
Southern Soda Bread
This hearty bread is simple and quick to make, so prepare extra and share with friends. Present each loaf by wrapping in plastic wrap and then in a festive kitchen towel. Tie with colorful ribbon or raffia then round out the gift by adding a jar of sweet preserves.
Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread
So, don't expect any leftovers with this easy holiday tea bread made with canned pumpkin. Wrap it first in plastic, then orange tissue, and tie with a chocolate colored ribbon.
Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits
Line a pretty basket with decorative linens then pile high with these tender and flaky biscuits. Gather the linen at the top and tie with a festive bow before presenting to neighbors or friends.
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
Take a walk on the tropical side for the holidays with this oh, so good banana bread. Laced with dark rum and coconut, it's crowned with a tart lime glaze. Gift wrap with a funky holiday kitchen towel and tie with red string licorice.
Mini Fruit and Sunflower Loaves
Sneak these cute little fruit and sunflower seed loaves onto co-workers' desks for a holiday surprise. With a scoop of cornmeal and a splash of maple syrup, they're a sweet-savory combination that's bound to win over even picky eaters.
Golden Pumpkin-Walnut Loaf
Sugar and spice and everything nice come together in this simple but unusual pumpkin-walnut tea loaf. Spices include cardamom, ginger, and mace instead of the usual cinnamon, so make it for friends and family that like a taste of adventure with their holiday flavor.
Always a hit at holiday brunch, these moist pumpkin muffins are studded with dried cranberries for a sweet and tangy flavor. For gift giving, line a holiday craft box with parchment. Add a bundle of plastic-wrapped muffins, top with the lid, and tie shut with raffia.
Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread)
This sweet cylinder-shaped bread is similar to a fruitcake and traditionally served during the holidays in italy.
If eating chocolate-filled croissants is one of your favorite holiday memories, you'll want to try this healthier recipe featuring a soft whole wheat bun and a reduced-fat chocolate filling.
Cinnamon-Date-Pecan Rolls with Maple Glaze
These extra-special cinnamon rolls are enhanced with both dates and pecans and make a perfect offering for a holiday breakfast or brunch.
Fig-Walnut Sticky Buns
Make warm sticky buns a part of your family holiday tradition if they aren't already. Dried figs and chopped walnuts give these extra flavor and crunch.
Cinnamon Crisp-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
The sugary, cinnamon-scented streusel topping turns plain banana bread into a holiday treat that's perfect for breakfast or brunch. Or wrap up a loaf and a give it as a gift.
Praline Pull-Apart Bread
Start with frozen bread roll dough to create this impressive sweet holiday breakfast treat.
Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns
Cinnamon rolls take on a whole new holiday flavor with the addition of pureed pumpkin and nutmeg.
Forget French pastry. This sweet holiday tea bread, topped with a Grand Marnier glaze and laced with cranberries, orange zest, and butter, is major league amazing. Even better, it's make-ahead friendly and freezes perfectly. Bake two large loaves or six small ones.
Stollen is a traditional German Christmas yeast bread that's filled with dried fruit and topped with a sugary glaze and candied cherries. It's usually shaped into a folded oval and is a welcomed gift during the holidays.
Mini Cranberry Panettones
This version of the sweet Italian yeast bread called panettone is made in muffin tins to streamline the baking process. Tuck these little cranberry-studded gems into holiday decorated plastic bags or colorful Chinese take-out cartons and give to neighbors, teachers, or friends.
Freezer Cinnamon Rolls
Gooey cinnamon rolls are tricked out with an extra special filling of toasted pecans, cinnamon, and dried fruit. But their best feature: the rolls go from freezer to oven in just 30 minutes. Perfect for make-ahead holiday breakfasts or gift giving.
Typically baked with candied citrus rind and either spiced apples or dried fruit (our choice), this rich Scandinavian sweet bread is then crowned with a sweet, snowy-white glaze.