I seem to have lost my sense of smell today (Argh!), but I’m on the mend and can’t complain. I can deal. For instance, last night I asked Todd to pick up a side of wasabi from the sushi bar at H.E.B. so I could smear it over my dinner. And today, I’m going to only eat things with lots of spices — or to use a term that makes me squeamish, “heady”. Not sure why I don’t like that term, but it’s apropos. I need something with a “heady” blend of spices to clear out my stuffed head.
Thinking about head-clearing recipes brought this one to mind. It’s sweet, but peppery, and leaves a little trail of heat. I got the recipe years ago from my stepmother, who got it from Texas Co-op Power magazine. I didn’t think I’d like it at first, but it was so surprisingly delightful I found myself making it over and over for myself and friends. At some point, I got a little burned out on it and stopped making it, but I could really use a slice right now.
PICTURE BY TANIS C.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (18 oz)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons mild salsa
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno jelly (increase for more "heat")
- 4 oz regular butter, melted
- 1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large loaf pans or 6 small loaf pans.
- Mix dry ingredients, including nuts, in a large bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients and cranberries in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the well and fold only until dry ingredients are moist. Mixture will be stiff. Do not over stir. Spread into pans and bake 70 minutes for large loaf pans or 30-35 minutes for small loaf pans. Reduce baking time 5-10 minutes for dark pans. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before wrapping and freezing. Yield: 2 loaves.