Food & Drink

Seasons greetings pound cake

1 (6 oz.) package sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup bourbon

3 cups lightly measured all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, NOT margarine

8 oz. cream cheese

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

freshly grated zest of 1 orange

1 cup chopped pecans

Serves 16-20.

Several hours or up to 1 day before making the pound cake, place the cranberries in a small heat-safe bowl. Heat bourbon just to a boil. Pour over cranberries. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside. One hour before making pound cake, remove butter, cream cheese and eggs from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for ONLY 1 hour. Sift together flour and slices THREE times. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using butter and flour, generously grease, then flour either a 12-cup one-piece tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan. In large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a standing mixer set on medium-low speed, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Blend for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add flour and spices in three additions to batter, scraping sides and bottom of bowl after each addition. DO NOT beat batter. Blend just briefly until all flour is incorporated. Add vanilla extract and orange zest. Stir in pecans and bourbon and cranberries. Pour batter into pan. Drop pan onto counter top to level batter and to help remove any air bubbles. Place in center of preheated oven. Bake about 90 minutes, until wooden pick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. Remove from oven. Place cake (in pan) on a cooling rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place on cooling rack. Let cake cool thoroughly. Slice and serve at room temperature. Store airtight.