Do you hear them? Eleven pipers piping! It’s Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas here on IBC.
The title of today’s post might be a little confusing. Cherry Christmas Cards? Well, it’s a mash-up to reflect both parts of this post.
First, I’m going to teach you how to make a super delicious White Chocolate Cherry Almond Bread. Then I’ll show you my Christmas cards and some ways that I like to make them stand out from the crowd.
My thought process here is that you can whip of a couple batches of this quick bread for friends or colleagues. (You know, all of those folks you want to remember at Christmas, but can’t afford to give expensive presents.) Then, just tuck in a beautiful card with your bread, and you’ve got yourself a tasty, thoughtful treat. Who wouldn’t love that?
First, let’s make some yummy quick bread.
I’ve been eyeing this recipe from Averie Cooks for some time. Given that I love the combination of cherry and almond around the holidays, I thought her recipe (with a few tweaks and the addition of white chocolate), would make the perfect treat. It’s something different, and it totally beats fruitcake. (Be sure to check out Averie Cooks, btw. She has a collection of amazing and beautiful recipes!)
Since I plan to give this bread away, I picked up these little cardboard pans at HomeGoods. I thought they’d be a beautiful way to present my homemade gift.
Once that was taken care of, I got to baking.
When the bread was cooled, I topped it with the cherry almond glaze and added sprinkles for the season.
Depending on how and when you’re going to give this bread, you might want to wrap it in some plastic wrap before adding a bow. To photograph it for this post, I just tied a bow around the whole thing, sans plastic wrap. Simple, but still cute and festive.
Let me walk you through the recipe; then we will move on to holiday cards.
Here's what you'll need:
1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Cherry juice (reserve 1/4 cup for glaze)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup reserved cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Sprinkles for garnish, optional
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
For this recipe I used three 3x6-inch oven-safe cardboard pans. You can use whatever pan(s) you'd like, but make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly. These cardboard pans don't require the use of oil to prevent sticking. However, if you are using a metal or glass pan, spray it with cooking spray before pouring in the batter.
Begin by separating the cherries from the juice. Save the juice. Then, roughly chop the cherries.
Sprinkle the cherries with the two tablespoons of flour and toss to coat. (This prevents them from sinking while baking.) Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, almond extract, vanilla extract, and all of the cherry juice minus 1/4 cup. (Reserve this 1/4 cup of cherry juice for the glaze.)
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped cherries and white chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into your prepared pans filling each about two-thirds full.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. You'll know your bread is done when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely.
For the glaze, whisk the 1/4 cup reserved cherry juice with the almond extract and confectioners' sugar. If the glaze seems too thin, add more sugar until the desired consistency is reached. (If it's too thick, you can add a little water to thin it.)
Once the bread is cool, drizzle on the glaze and top with sprinkles.
With that, your bread is complete.
Now that you have your gift ready, let’s talk Christmas cards. As I noted above, my cards are from Minted. I chose this beautiful botanical design with a foil-press. Yes, I know. Even my Christmas cards must have a little bling.
One of the things I love to get from Minted is their photo cards. After you’ve chosen your photo (It might be a picture of your family or latest vacation or maybe your significant other.), you add it to one of their designs and magic happens. Since it’s just yours truly and the cats around here, I opted for a non-photo card. (I can hear the chorus of thank yous from my friends and family. – You’re welcome.)
You still should have time (if you get your order in quickly) to receive your holiday cards before Christmas. However, Minted also has a fantastic selection of New Years cards. So, if things are a little crazy for you right now, you can certainly wish your family and friends a Happy New Year with a beautiful, personalized card.
As you might have guessed, I like to jazz my cards up a bit. So, I bling up the envelopes a bit with my new best friend, glitter tape. It’s like a sneak peak of what’s inside.
My other little holiday card trick (which I’ve been sharing for the past few years) is to use vintage holiday postage stamps when I mail out my cards. A grouping of three or four old stamps is usually enough to equal today’s postage rate. It’s a nostalgic nod on a modern card. Plus, it’s completely unexpected and fun. You can find these vintage stamps on Etsy. You’ll pay a little more per stamp, but I think it’s worth it.
Now, I just need to find a spare minute or two or three to write out my cards. Maybe I can get Sebastian to help?
Anywho, I hope you enjoyed all of these ideas and tips for spreading cute, delicious, and personalized cheer this Christmas.
Stay tuned! Although the 12 Days of Christmas series ends tomorrow, I’ll be back next week with more inspiration.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS