Contest: Just Desserts For A Dark Road (Updated)

grizzly-bear-eating-birthday-cake

 

It’s that time again, time for another contest here at The Hall of Beorn! After what seemed like an unbearable wait, The Road Darkens has finally be released here in the US, and it just so happens that I have an extra copy in my giant furry paws. As always, this contest is open to readers from all over the globe, as my trusty eagle friends will provide delivery.

The rules for this contest are simple. Provide in the comments below, your favorite dessert recipe. Extra consideration will be given for entries which are particularly thematic or appropriate to the World of Tolkien. Please, no honey cake – I already have my own recipe – and I can admit to a bit of bias when it comes to that particular dish. With the holidays approaching, Mrs. Beorn and I will be doing quite a bit of entertaining, so it is always good to have some new dessert recipes to share with friends and family.

The contest will run for 1 week, until next Monday October the 13th at Midnight. Please leave your recipes in the comments below, so that other readers can appreciate them as well. Feel free to enter multiple recipes as only the best recipe will win the contest. The winner of course gets a brand new copy of The Road Darkens, delivered anywhere except Mordor, free of charge. Good luck to all, and my tummy is growling with anticipation for the tasty treats to come!

UPDATE: Due to a large number of last-minute entries, I am going to wait until Friday, October the 17th to announce a winner. Only entries that made it in by yesterday are considered, but Mrs. Beorn and I need more time to try out these tasty recipes. Thanks for your patience everyone!

bear print

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22 Responses to Contest: Just Desserts For A Dark Road (Updated)

  1. diedertk says:

    I’m an Outcast, I live in Mordor. So I can’t participate?! You stinky bear. 😉

  2. diedertk says:

    Just joking, I will post my entries this afternoon. 🙂

  3. Paul Osborne says:

    One of my favorite Middle-Earth recipes; Lembas!

    1 3/4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
    1 3/4 cups of white flour
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    8 Tablespoons cold butter
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 Tablespoons cinnamon (optional)*
    1 Tablespoon vanilla (optional)*
    1/3 cup honey
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 fresh, peeled, finely-chopped apple
    1/4 cup nuts (walnuts, pistachios, peanuts)

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

    3. Chop butter into mixture with a pastry cutter or knead in with your fingers until you get a crumbly mixture.

    4. Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla (optional), honey, apple, and nuts, and mix.

    5. Add milk. Stir with a fork or knead with hands until dough forms.

    6. Roll the dough out about 1/2 inch thick.

    7. Cut out 2-3 inch squares and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Criss-cross each square from corner to corner with a knife.

  4. diedertk says:

    First up
    My Uruk-Hai medicine.
    We know that Merry and Pippin have been given some medicine, that looked disgusting/awfull (also it tasted that way, but I opted out on this one), but it did the trick= refreshing and a sort of healing. So, I hope smoothies are counted as deserts in the Hall, and I tried to come up with a smoothie that should represent the medicine.

    One of the main ingredients is spirulina. It is a socalled superfood. This smoothie is full of antioxidants that give you the refreshing feeling like the medicine did. But because not everybody likes spirulina in it’s normal form, I have made this smoothierecipe.

    (disclaimer: I am using European/Dutch measurements, so grams and liters etc.)

    1 banana, peeled and cut into fours.
    75 g mixed summerfruit, plus some extra for garnishing
    2 1/2 deciliter low-fat yoghurt, plus 1 spoon (dinner) for garnishing
    0,6 deciliter orange juice
    1 spoon (dinner) spirulinapowder (reform) something like this: http://wellnessmama.com/4738/spirulina-herb-profile/

    Put everything into your smoothiemachine/blender and mix it for 1 minute into a smoothie. Pour the smoothie into a glass and serve it directly. Put a yoghurtsplash on top and garnish with some red berries.

    Tadaa, my not that tasty looking Uruk Medicine
    Up to the next one

  5. mtpereira says:

    Digestive Wheat Biscuits: 400 gr
    Butter: a couple of spoons
    Cream: 200 ml
    Brown sugar: 200 gr
    Greek plain yogurt: 500 gr
    Strawberry jell-o: around 200 gr
    Strawberries: 500 gr

    Pick a rock and smash those cookies to crumbles. Grab the butter with your paws so that it melts a bit and mix it with the crumbles. Spread that mixture on a loose bottomed cake tin bottom [1] and let it rest in your cold cave for an hour [2].

    Find the nearest orc campsite, capture one orc and shoo the rest away: a couple of slightly more delicate hands will came in handy and make for a great cooking assistant! Have that orc boil *half* [3] the water amount suggested by the jello-o preparation instructions in their campfire. Then have it mix the jell-o powder on it and add, once again, *half* the suggested water amount. Let it cool down a bit.

    Have that orc cut your strawberries in little neat pieces. Keep him motivated by roaring fiercely.

    Have him churn the cream, adding the sugar and the yogurt during the process. After it’s all churned up, add the jell-o and the strawberries. Get ride of the orc, he’s useless now.

    Pour the mixture on the cake tin and let it rest again in your cold cave.

    Hopefully it’ll end up looking somewhat like this: http://imgur.com/a/5oKPH

    Hope you and Mrs. Beorn enjoy it!

    [1]: Why would a bear have such fine cooking utilities? I can’t even imagine…
    [2]: I hope your cooking this on Winter… Or that you somehow got hold of a fridge!
    [3]: This will make the semifreddo a little bit more solid. Also, it should be funny to watch the orc doing all that crazy math!

  6. nikwing says:

    Everthing good start from Shire, so
    Mrs. Cotton’s Berry Pie

    Pastry for double crust (9 inch)
    1 egg white
    2 tablespoons water, divided
    1 cup sugar
    ¼ cup cornstarch
    1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 cups fresh blueberries
    1 cup fresh raspberries
    Sugar to sprinkle

    Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry.
    Beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water, brush over crust.
    In a bowl. combine 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel, vanilla and cinnamon.
    Gently stir in the berries.
    Pour into crust.
    Roll out remaining dough and fit onto pie.
    Flute edges, and brush with remaining water.
    Cut slits in top.
    Sprinkle with sugar.
    Bake at 400° for 40-50 minutes or until crust is nice golden brown and filling is bubbly.
    Cool on a wire rack.
    Store leftovers in fridge.

    Perfect for summer months with blueberries and raspberries in abundance.

  7. diedertk says:

    Second entry of mine (I LOVE this contest, as I love to cook!)

    This recipe ought to represent Mirovur in a fun way. We know that Mirovur was a delicious, refreshing drink. It warmed your body and it restored your mind.

    So, to somewhat replicate this, it thought crême anglaise would be fitting. And since most bears like apples this seemed the fitting recipe up my sleave.

    For the creme anglaise: (disclaimer, American/English style measurements, cups etc. for I found a great website to translate measurements)
    1 cup milk
    1 cup half-and-half
    4 egg yolks
    2 eggs (You could ask Radagast, for Rhosgobel chicken eggs, as it is best to buy freerange eggs :))
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt (just take your Rivendell Blade, put it in the salt jar and whatever stays on the point of the blade shoold be enough)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons bourbon (this recipe may be not apropriate for little Beornings or pregnant Bears ;))
    5 sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious or Gala (or whatever sweet brand you have in Rhovanion)
    1/4 mild extra-virgin (virgine) olive oil, plus more for brushing
    2 tablespoons of fresh grounded (or just use your paws) cardamon

    Directions:
    Prepare a fire in the midst of your Hall or in a charcoal grill/preheat a gas grill.
    To make the creme anglaise, take a saucepan and put in on low heat.
    Combine the milk and half-and-half in the saucepan. Heat to just below boiling.
    In the top pan of a double boiler: whisk together the egg yolks and eggs until just blended. Then add the sugar, vanilla and salt into this mixture.
    Whisk into the hot milk mixture gradually in that top pan.
    Place the top pan over the bottem pan of boiling water (au bain-arwenie)and cook, constantly stirring with your paws, until the mixture is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon, 2 à 3 minutes. DO NOT LET IT BOIL, that is very important. Otherwise the eggs will start to cook really well and your creme is finished. If this happens, throw it into Mount Doom and try another batch. After the 2 à 3 minutes, remove the pan immediatly from the heat and stir in the bourbon.
    Let it cool down a bit to thicken.
    Cut the apples into rounds(horizontally) of about 1/2 inch thick. Put them into a baking tray/dish and put the olive oil on the slices. Turn to fully coat the appleslices. Brush the grill with olive oil and place the apple slices on it or place them in an oiled grilling basket. Sprinkle the apples with the cardamon.
    Grill for about 3 minutes, then turn and grill until softened. (about 2 minutes).
    Transfer (prefferably someone with actual hands) the appleslices to a plate.

    Serving time
    Poor some of the creme anglaise on each of the sic dessert plates and place some of the appleslices into it. Drizzle the apples with some more creme anglaise.
    As you can read, this recipe serves 6. But my advice would be to add some more of each ingredient and make some more creme anglaise, because you don’t want to have too few creme. 😉

    This was my (sortof) miruvor with apples. A Elven inspired Beardessert.

  8. Gathos says:

    Ok, here’s my pick. Traditional but delicious, excellent with your favorite strong ale or a dram of whisky and a bowl of pipe-weed.

    TOFFEE PUDDING

    INGREDIENTS

    1 cup pitted dates, chopped
    2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 cup self-rising cake flour
    a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of salt

    Whipped cream (Even a Took can whip cream!)

    PREPARATION

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a round cake pan, an 8 by 2-inch if you have it, though a 9 by 1 1/2-inch will do.
    Simmer dates in 1 cup water in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, covered, until soft, about 5 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes.
    Beat together 1 stick butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg until combined. Add flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix at low speed until just combined. Add dates and mix until just combined well.
    Pour batter into pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean,.
    Meanwhile, melt remaining stick butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in remaining cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, and a pinch of salt. Boil over moderately high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and sauce is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, 2 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
    Transfer pudding in pan to a rack and poke all over at 1-inch intervals with a toothpick or chopstick. Gradually pour half of warm sauce evenly over hot pudding. Let stand until almost all of sauce is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
    Run a thin knife around edge of pan. Invert a plate over pudding and invert pudding onto plate. Pour remaining warm sauce over pudding, top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

    Be warned, this is a very rich dessert, even the most stalwart of Hobbits have been know to loosen their belts after this one!

  9. Vardaen says:

    “Dutch” Brandybuck Oven Cobbler, perfect for camping in Green Hill Country or for traveling dwarves in Wilderland. Even better is when Samwise lugs all his pots and pans, including a cast iron “Dutch” oven all the way to Mordor so he can use the lava from Mt.Doom to make Mr.Frodo a tasty treat.

    1 white cake mix
    1 12oz can of sprite or 7up
    2 cans of fruit pie filling (cherry, blueberry, apply, peach, whatever is in season in Anduin Vale at the time)

    This cobbler is prepared in a camp-style cast iron “Dutch” Brandybuck oven which has a lid with a lip so that hot coals may be set on top of the pan. A quick and easily prepared outdoor recipe for trips to Ithilien, birthday parties on The Hill, and make shift luncheons on the side of Mt.Doom.

    Pour fruit pie filling into a 6 quart dutch oven. In a separate bowl, mix soda with cake mix. Batter will be lumpy. Pour over top of pie filling. Bake with coals on top and bottom until cake is golden color. Serve hot!

    For more modern cooks in Gondor, you can also shove the Dutch over into the oven and bake on 350 for about 45mins until cake is golden color.

  10. diedertk says:

    And number three!
    Man, I love cooking. Sometimes I wonder who Jamie Oliver would be in ME.

    Cheesecake with chocolate and caramel
    This one is my ultimate favorite! I love NY cheese cake, but I love caramel even more. So I thought, why not put them together?! And sometimes that turns out really bad, but the Favor of the Lady has been upon this recipe. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

    Prepping time 45 min; waiting time 5 hours!

    Ingredients
    For the cake:
    200 gr white caster sugar
    500 gr fresh cream cheese
    1 vanilla stick
    1/3 cups lemon juice
    200 ml creme fraiche
    500 ml whipped cream (unwhipped, but a Bear knows that)

    For the chocolate swirl:
    150 gr milkchocolate
    50 ml whipped cream (unwhipped)

    Caramelsause:
    40 gr of refined sugar (normal)
    1 tablespoon of water
    50 ml whipped cream (unwhipped)

    Bottom:
    200 grams of cinnamonbiscuits see picture 1, the brand I use.
    50 grams of melted butter

    Materials:
    Mixer
    Backing tray with a diameter of 24 cm/ 24 Ø

    Preparation
    Take your muddling fist and grind the cookies. Mix them with the melted butter. Optional: put some backing paper (I think the official term is fatfree paper) on the bottom of the backing form. (it is not necessary, because it won’t go into the oven, but it is quite handy for serving) Put quite a bit of pressure on the mixture when you put it in the backing tray. For the remainder of the time, put in the fridge until you need it again.

    Cut the vanillastick into halves and scrape out the seeds. Mix these with the casterd sugar and mix it thereafter with the creamcheese until it is a creamy, slushy mass. Take another mixbowl and put in the whipped cream, lemon juice and creme fraiche until it is stiff. (So when you put in a spoon and pull it back out again, the mass stays and doesn’t regain it’s flat form too fast again) Now put the two mixtures together and mix them with a spatula, Make sure you keep don’t smash out the air, keep it light and fluffy. Probably ask Mrs. Beorn for help here, because you really don’t want to mash everything together. A, I don’t know, maybe Mrs. Beorn is the strongest one of the two bears.. Back to the recipe.

    Melt the chocolate together with the 50 ml whipped cream au bain marie until a smooth sauce has formed. Don’t let it get too hot.
    For the caramelsauce; heat up the sugar together with the water on a medium heat, but do NOT stir. Bubbles will appear on the surface which will turn lightbrown after a while. When this happens, turn off the heat and stirr in the whipped cream slowly. Put it back on the fire and let it thicken a bit.

    Divide 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture over the bottom and drizzle some caramelsauce and chocolate on top. Rince and repeat this step twice. So again 1/3 and sauce and again 1/3 and as last the remaining sauces. At the last time you take a knife and slice in some curves so the sauces can run into the cheesecake a bit. (see pictures) Put the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 5 hours. The FAQ “The longer the cheesecake is in the fridge, the better!”. From experience, the cheesecake had only set right with me after it spent a whole night in the fridge.
    For serving, just put a knife round the baking tray to cut the cake loose, so it won’t tear apart when you reveal the cake.

    Picture 1:
    Pictures 2,3,4,5:
    See, I actually made the cake again today with Mother Bear. (Am I a good son, or am I?) So, I made some pictures to clarify the certain steps.

    Okay, my laptop doens’t co-operate with placing the pictures. Is it even possible to post pictures in the reply?

    Anyway, maybe you don’t even need the pictures.

    This cheesecake can serve 10 skinchangers, but will probably serve more, because the Hall will have all sorts of visitors!
    Hope you will enjoy! I would love to send in another recipe, but I guess that will be overkill.
    Eet smakelijk and veel plezier met bakken!
    (Translating: Bon appetit and have fun backing)

    PS. Translating measurements with this recipe turned out to be too hard. I hope this will pose no threat for a Orc-eating Beorning like you.

  11. matdav says:

    I suck at narrative, so I just get to it.

    Almond Bars

    Crust (top and bottom)
    1 cup butter (softened, not melted)
    1 tsp salt
    2.5 cups flour
    8 tbsp milk
    Mix into dough. Roll out just over 1/2 and press into 9×13 pan. Make sure it comes up the sides at least half way. Set aside other half.

    Filling
    2 cups sugar
    4 egg yokes (set aside the whites)
    8 tbsp flour
    6 tbsp milk
    2 tbsp almond flavoring

    Mix and pour onto dough. Roll out the the set aside dough and put on top of the filling. Seal the edges between the crust using your fingers and the egg whites you set aside earlier. Poke holes in the top crust with fork, be generous with holes. Sprinkle top with sugar. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

    This one is a bear (see what I did there) to get perfect. I never get the edges sealed or the crust rolled out perfect, but they taste great. They have a creamy almond flavored middle with a light crust. Someday I’ll make the perfect looking pan like my Grandma used to make.

  12. Jesse says:

    Just can’t get enough of that Warg Chow!

    9 cups crispy rice cereal squares
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

    Remove from heat, add cereal and stir until coated.
    Pour powdered sugar into large plastic bag, add coated cereal and shake until well coated. Store in airtight container.

    It’s simple, fast and always delicious.

  13. Matej says:

    I like to call this one simply a hobbit cake. Note that you will require a model for cake making.
    And what is the best about this cake? It doesn’t even require baking it! It takes a bit time to make though, but it is delicious.

    Preparation:
    CREAM:
    – 400 grams of cheese spread
    – 300 grams of cottage cheese
    – 100 grams of sugar
    – 1 lemon
    – 250mili liters of whipping cream
    – 1 spoon of castor sugar (optional)
    – gelatine
    BASE:
    – 150 grams of biscuits
    – 125 grams of butter
    FRUIT COVERING:
    – 500 grams of berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries,… can be frozen)
    – 1 small bag of vanilla sugar (10grams or so)
    – 50mili liters of black currant juice

    MAKING:
    – Melt the butter and keep it standing so it cools down. Grind the biscuits and then mix them with butter. Put everything into cake model as a base, press it down thoroughly and set it into fridge for 30 minutes.
    – Soak gelatine in cool water for 10 minutes, clean the fruits. Mix half of fruits with currant juice and vanilla sugar. Then cook this mix and mix it all the time until it boils. Keep half of fruits for decoration.
    – Mix cottage cheese, cheese spread and sugar until you get nice mixture. Squeeze the lemon and heat it up, then, mix the gelatine with this lemon juice. Then mix this and mixture of cottage cheese , cheese spread and sugar together. Prepare the whipping cream. Whip it nice and then mix it with the cottage cheese and other things.
    – Then place this onto the biscuits base into to cake model. Over this, place the boiled fruits and then use the leftover fruits for decoration.
    – Place the cake into the fridge for about 4 hours. It needs to cool down.

    After that, serve the cake 🙂

  14. The Hand of Castamir says:

    Ok, this one will be a tough one to translate into English, but Ill try:

    It’s called “Ant Nest”

    Ingredients:
    a)Soften Margarine 250g
    a)An egg
    a)Mix vinegar and baking powder(soda)
    a)Half a glass of milk
    a)Flour
    Two glasses of walnuts
    Condensed milk

    The process:
    Prepare the pastry(with components marked by “a)” ), let it go through a meat grinder, and bake what comes out. While it’s still warm, chop it to pieces with a knife. Dry walnuts in the oven, and mix chopped pastry with them. Then, add condensed milk all over this, mix everything again and lay it down on the plate like a little mountain.

    Hope it’s at least half-readable, bon appetit.

  15. Strategian says:

    Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit Dump Cake

    The perfect quick & simple dessert recipe for those unexpected dinner guests…

    1) Drain 20 oz crushed pineapples & spread evenly across 9″ x 13″ pan
    2) Layer 20 oz strawberry pie filling evenly over pineapples
    3) Layer one package of yellow cake mix evenly over fruit
    4) Cut 2 sticks of butter or margarine into slices and layer evenly over cake mix
    5) Bake at 325 degrees on the center oven rack for one hour

  16. MPK says:

    Hand Held Apple Pies

    Hobbits are often described as having prodigious appetites, but I always imaged them eating very small foods – simply in great quantity. For a bear such as yourself, these should be roughly bite sized.

    Crust –

    Any pie crust will do, or even thinly rolled biscuit dough (for a satisfyingly fluffy treat).

    Filling –

    1) Dice several apples – I prefer granny smith apples for their tartness, but any nice crisp apple will do. Advocating for my own place of residence, Washington apples are of course the best. A food processor is a quick (if un-thematic) way to accomplish this.

    2) Mix the diced apples with two tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon each of cinnamon and vanilla. Add in your favorite pie-centric spices (ie. cloves) to taste.

    Baking –

    Cut dough into small circles, and line a muffin sheet. Spoon diced apples into the muffin sheet and cover with additional crust. Bake until dough is cooked (depends on dough, generally about 8 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit).

    Overall, this is a quick and delicious dessert that is perfect for social gatherings due to its handheld nature. For bonus points, it is perfect with vanilla ice cream!

    A quick plug for my favorite kitchen device:

    As an alternative to the somewhat unattractive pies resulting from the muffin sheet, invest in a mini pie maker, like the one shown here:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/breville-personal-pie-maker-bpi640xl/?&&utm_campaign=bazaarvoice&utm_medium=SearchVoice&utm_source=RatingsAndReviews&utm_content=Default

    These can be bought more cheaply, but I can personally vouch for the Williams & Sonoma device. I can only imagine that hobbits would approve of a device that quickly makes delicious pies. The pie maker can assist you in making any number of delicious pie-like-foods, all pleasantly small.

  17. Tony K says:

    Beorn’s Honeycomb Pears in Shire Pastry!

    4 small pears
    1 sheet of ready made puff pastry dough, thawed
    4 cups water
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup honey
    1/2 lemon
    1 vanilla bean, seeded with hull reserved
    3 sticks of cinnamon
    6-8 whole cloves

    Peel pears and core from the bottom. Cut the bottom of the pears strait across, so they will stand upright. Set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the 4 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. When the sugar has melted, add the pears, vanilla seeds and hull, 1/2 lemon, cinnamon and cloves. Simmer pears until they are fork tender. This can take 20-40 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your pears.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    When the pears are soft, remove them from the pot and allow them to cool slightly. Discard solid pieces from saucepan and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid. While pears are cooling, cut the puff pastry into 1/2″ strips. One sheet of puff pastry will cover 4 small pears. Large pears will need a second sheet of puff pastry to compensate.

    Wrap cooled pears with puff pastry starting at the bottom and working upwards. When you come to the end of a pastry strip, brush it lightly with water and press to adhere to the next pastry strip. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral. Place wrapped pears on a parchment lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown.

    Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy. Plate pears and top with syrup.

    *NOTE: Your favorite blend of spices can be used in this recipe – go crazy!

    I figured a Bear of your caliber would enjoy some kind of honey in their cooking, and the final product of this also comes out looking quite a bit like a beehive with the pastry spiraling up the outside of the pear for some thematic fun.

  18. Ryan A. says:

    Cranberry Layer Cake

    Ingredients:
    2 cups Cranberries (fresh or frozen
    1 package white cake mix
    1 cup water
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    1 cup pecans
    1 tablespoon orange zest

    Directions:
    1. Rinse & drain cranberries, then coarsely chop them
    2. combine cake mix, water, oil, & eggs; beat on low until just combined
    3. Beat on medium for 2 minutes
    4 Fold in berries, pecans, & zest
    5. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes in a 9″ round cake pan
    6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes

    Frosting:
    8 ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
    1/2 cup butter (soft)
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions:
    1. Beat until fluffy, then add 4 3/4 – 5 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or less)
    2. Add 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

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