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Panettone has always been a holiday tradition in my house, and today my recipe gets an update with Craisins® Dried Cranberries available in variety of flavors.
Edna Ferber remarked that “Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling,” a quote that I think cuts to the spirit of the season, so much so that it’s almost as if “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful,” as Norman Vincent Peale put it.
You see, I’ve always felt that just as each character and event in a novel has their own trademark, such as the nearsighted wizard and his lightning bolt scar, or how the changes in the air prophesized a continent wide war for a ring, that each season bears its own heralds as well. It is perhaps for this reason that winter bears the aura of ‘Christmas’ as its foremost trait. Without looking at a calendar, or feeling the chill in the air, the holiday season makes itself known. Whether it’s the softer, more reserved cheer of being with friends and family, or the memories of such, or the deliberate ‘spirit’ of seasonal merriment spread across the store windows, or life set against the backdrop of our favorite holiday tune, or the traditions that both create and frame our memories, these are what ‘announce’ the season to us each year.
In my family, the aroma of freshly baked panettone was as much as herald of the season as well as indoor evergreens strung with electrical lights. Whether forming a delicious addition to the dessert table, or serving as a morning loaf with coffee, or wrapped as gifts, they were an ever-present part of our holiday, and yet for the past few years, I will admit I have allowed the tradition to the fall by the wayside.
Strangely enough, it was the idea of giving them as gifts that got me back into making these. You see, I was picking up holiday supplies at Walmart when I saw a display of the typical Holiday Panettones wrapped in their red Christmas boxes, which were copiously decorated with gold lettering and bows, and naturally I could not help thinking of the loaves I used to make by hand. I was still under the spell of those memories when I came across Cherry-flavored Craisins® dried cranberries and Craisins® Dried Cranberries in the dried fruit aisle, and decided it was time to pick the tradition back up. I just knew the Craisins® would add a perfect bit of ‘zing’ to the old family recipe.
Besides, there is always that one impossibly difficult-to-shop-for person on your gift list, and what better solution than a Panettone Christmas loaf? After all, prepared with dried citron, orange zest, lemon essence and Craisins® this loaf combines all of the season’s warmest and most inviting flavors.
Living the Gourmet
15 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 envelope of active dry yeast, about 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 cup warm milk
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups flour, plus 1 cup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons shortening, chilled
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
- Zest of 1 whole orange
- 1/2 cup chopped dried citron
- 1/2 cup Craisins® Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 cup Craisins® Dried Cranberries Cherry Juice Infused
- In a small saucepan gently warm 1 cup of milk. Do NOT overheat.
- Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.
- Whisk and let stand until the yeast has proofed. It should be foamy after about 5-10 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt to the yeast. Mix until a sticky dough has formed with the dough hook attachment.
- Cover with a towel and let sit for about an hour in a warm, dark place.
- Once the dough has risen, mix in the beaten eggs and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment. Scrape the sides down to make sure all of the dough has been incorporated.
- Add butter, shortening, almond extract, lemon essence and orange zest. Add remaining cup of flour while mixing on low speed, just until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl. Do NOT overmix. Add the dried citron, cranberries and cherries; mix just until incorporated.
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let rest to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer to a Panettone molds or a tall well-greased cake pan (I used an angel food cake tin). Brush the Panettone with an egg wash and sprinkle generously with white sugar.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes until golden. Let cool completely before slicing.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Prep Time does not inclued Inactive Prep Time
What are some of your favorite holiday recipes and traditions? We would love to hear from you.
Complete the holiday season with Craisins® available in a variety of sizes and flavors to suit all your needs. From delicious desserts to wholesome snacking, just 1/4 cup of Craisins® provide 1/2 cup serving of fruit!
Enjoy with Love,