One of my son's schools serves breakfast. Although he's usually up plenty early to eat at home, he wants to eat when all his classmates are eating the school breakfast, so we usually do a light snack at home and then school breakfast. The school breakfasts are pre-packaged combo packs that often contain either raisins or craisins, neither of which he'll eat. So we've ended up with a stockpile of individual packs of craisins in the snack bin because, let's face it, they're not the first thing grabbed when even the adults are hungry here.
I decided to convert those craisins into something much more desirable: cranberry orange bread. Although I typically use fresh/frozen cranberries for quick breads, this recipe from A Side of Sweet noted that it worked with dried cranberries. I just modified it slightly to moisten the cranberries more and use the ingredients I had on hand. Here's my tweaked version, which will be made every couple months when our stockpile gets large enough.
Cranberry Orange Bread
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Zest of one large orange or 10 drops of food-safe orange essential oil
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cranberries and orange juice, and let stand at least 15 minutes, preferably longer. This is to re-hydrate the cranberries slightly.
In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice, zest or oil, buttermilk, butter and egg. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the liquid ingredients (with the cranberries), mixing until just combined.
Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake 25 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350°F. Bake an additional 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.