Monday, November 15, 2010

Pistachio Cheese Loaf

By: Karen Young of Karen's Kitchen

Pistachio Cheese Loaf
Moist, nutty, and cheesy, this one is Karen Young's favorite. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, this loaf tastes as pretty as it looks.

1 loaf  Prep Time 25 minutes  Baking Time 32 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  cup cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup butter, softened
3/4  cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 5 pieces maraschino cherries, halved for topping
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1 tablespoon pistachio nuts for topping

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter and flour an 8x3 1/2 x2 1/2-inch loaf pan, making sure to cover the corners. Line with parchment paper then grease and flour the paper lining. (Learn how to line and grease a  pan here)

2  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, then sift together. Set aside.

3  With a flat beater, beat cream cheese on medium speed. When the cheese is free of lumps, add butter.

4  When mixture is homogeneous, add sugar. Cream on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time on medium speed, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

6  Switch to lowest speed and add dry ingredients gradually. Remove bowl from the mixer stand. With a large spatula, fold in nuts.

7   Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread evenly then smoothen top.

8   Garnish with maraschino cherries and pistachios in desired design, pressing gently to embed toppings partly into batter.

  Bake for 32 minutes or until cake tester dipped in center comes out clean.

10   Stand on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool to room temperature. Wrap airtight, store in refrigerator, and serve the following day.

Buttery tip  If you like a more buttery flavor, substitute the cream cheese with butter.

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