Before we moved to the Pacific Northwest, Wolf told me repeatedly, “Ehhhh, it never snows in Seattle.” Since we’ve lived here, it has snowed every winter. And while I have never let him off the hook for that claim, it’s beautiful when it snows here. I prefer it to the rain, even though no one here, including myself, knows how to drive in the snow. We got a couple of inches early early yesterday. Did you hear about it? Rain is nothing to write home about here, but give us a little snow, it’s all we can talk about.
I laughed out loud when I saw this tweet:
Even just a little snow brings a stillness, a quiet and creates a perfect backdrop for bourbon pecan booze bread. Morning or night, with a cup of coffee or a little bourbon on the side, this is winter. Even if you have to manufacture your winter sitting in front of a video yule log, this is the bread you’ll want to nibble on.
The original recipe comes from one of Wolf’s oldest friends and for years we were recipients of “Boyd’s Booze Bread,” called “Raisin Pecan Bourbon Bread” in polite company. Now that we no longer live 20 minutes up the freeway from each other, we make our own.
You might see some similarities to fruitcake, the holiday treat everyone loves to hate, but this booze bread bypasses fruitcake’s weird green maraschino cherries and citron in favor of dried tart cherries and currants. The batter for a single loaf includes just ¼ cup of bourbon, so the true booziness is at your whim. Give the bread a post-bake dousing with a little extra bourbon or soak the fruit in a bit of bourbon or serve it with a shot alongside for sipping.
You can do these muffin size or in an 8.5 inch loaf pan. Either way, it’s key to use liners or parchment. The bread is so dense that simply spraying the pan with non-stick spray doesn’t cut it. I tried, and ended up having to cut the loaf in half in the pan and then coax each half out of the pan.
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. molasses
- 1/4 t. baking sola
- 1/4 c. Maker’s Mark bourbon ( + extra if you want to bump the booziness)
- 1 c. dried currants
- 1 c. chopped dried cherries
- 1 3/4 c. chopped pecans + 18 pecan halves for garnish (if making muffin-size)
- Preheat oven to 325F. If making muffin sized cakes, line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients, just until combined. Add the milk. Mix the baking soda with the molasses and add to the batter. Add the bourbon, then pecans, cherries and currants, running the mixer until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter into muffin cups. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack.
- The bread can also be baked in an 8.5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment for 1.25 to 1.5 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The parchment is critical for a regular loaf pan as the bread is very dense.