Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I wanted to make something that looked especially festive to share with the volunteers at Hillcrest Thrift Shop when I worked my shift on Monday of this week. Many of the regulars who work on Tuesdays were not there, of course, and I always hate that they miss out, but the Tuesday regulars who also volunteer on Monday expect me to bring something on the second Monday of the month. The Monday volunteers who do not come in on Tuesday always enjoy whatever I bring.

I have to share with you a funny story about this bread and a couple of the Monday volunteers. One spends a lot of his time at the register "carrying on" with the customers, helping take out large items to the parking lot, etc. I asked Terry if he had gotten a piece of the bread I brought. He asked me what was in it. I told him fresh cranberries and golden raisins. Terry said, "I thought it was fruitcake." I reassured him and he said he would get a piece. 

When I was ready to leave at the end of my shift, I went into the community room to get my pan. There were only 3 or 4 small pieces left. I was trying to find a plate to put them on, and Terry asked another man at the table if he had eaten any. He said no because he thought it was fruitcake. Terry laughed and told him he had too, but it was cranberries and raisins. Then the man took one of the pieces and took a bite. Immediately, he said, "Oh! This is good." and finished eating the piece. I'm not sure if the last few small pieces stayed very long on the plate.

I think I would recommend baking this the day before. Wrapping it in plastic wrap makes it moist.  


1-1/2       cups all-purpose flour
3/4         cups packed light brown sugar
1-1/2       teaspoons baking powder
1/2          teaspoon baking soda
1/2          teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2          teaspoon ground nutmeg
1              cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries (I used fresh ones)
1/2          cup golden raisins
1/2          cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
1              tablespoon grated orange peel
2             eggs
3/4         cup milk
3             tablespoons butter, melted
1              teaspoon vanilla extract

Cranberry-Orange Spread (recipe below), optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl (with a whisk).
Stir in the cranberries, raisins, nuts, and orange peel.

Mix eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla in a small bowl until combined.
Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. (Folding the mixture helps combine the mixture.)

Pour into pan.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan at least 15 minutes.

Remove from pan and completely cool on wire rack.
Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.

Serve with Cranberry-Orange Spread, if desired. (I did not make this but it sounds and looks good in the picture in the cookbook.)


1         package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
1         package (3-ounces) cream cheese, softened
1         container (12-ounces) cranberry-orange sauce
3/4     cup chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese and cranberry-orange sauce in small bowl. Stir with a spoon until blended. Stir in pecans. Store in refrigerator. (Makes about 3 cups spread)

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