Gift of the Magi Bread
1/2 cupvegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup chopped cherries
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup sliced almonds, divided
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans, or 6 or 7 mini loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl,shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the applesauce to the creamed mixture. Stir in the mandarin oranges, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, only 1/2 cup almonds, cherries and raisins.
Pour into the two greased loaf pans or mini-loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with remaining almonds. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing bread from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.