Friday, December 2, 2011

Halle's Cranberry Bread

My fascination with department store tea room history has turned into a full-fledged obsession, so I was particularly delighted when I recently came across an entire booklet of holiday recipes from the old tea room at Halle Brothers Co. in Cleveland, Ohio! Apparently there was a historical exhibit about Halle's back in 1999, and this booklet was produced then. In addition to comments from former patrons about the old tea room, it also features lots of great recipes, and the first one I tried was this fabulous Cranberry Bread. And here's a fun bit of trivia for you: Which Oscar-winning actress from Cleveland, Ohio (one of the great beauties in modern Hollywood) was named after the store? The answer is at the bottom of today's post!

And now, here's the recipe as I made it.

Halle's Cranberry Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in halves

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate large bowl, combine juice, orange zest, shortening, boiling water and egg. Add dry ingredients to the liquid ones and blend just until combined. Add pecans and cranberries and mix well. Pour into 9 x 5 x 3-inch pan prepared with cooking spray. Allow batter to stand for 20 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. This is an incredibly moist tea bread that is great served hot or cold. With the crunch of the pecans, the tartness from the fresh cranberries and the citrus flavor from the orange zest—let's just say I have a new favorite Christmas tea bread!

Trivia answer: Halle Berry, of course! It's a good thing her parents didn't name her after another department store in town, because "Higbee Berry" just wouldn't have looked right on her Oscar!


  1. This bread looks very moist and yummy!! And a pretty, festive looking treat for the holidays! :)

  2. Now I know why you went shopping for a plate.
    Looks Yummy !!!!

  3. I'll be trying this! My family loves cranberry breads but most of my recipes are biscuit or scone breads. I think this will be a big hit.
    thanks for sharing.

  4. I didn't notice until I went to pin this recipe on my Pinterest page that you used your new Poinsettia tray! It's perfect for this recipe.

  5. This recipe reminds me of one I made at Thanksgiving. Yum!

  6. A cranberry tea bread would be nice to serve some time this month.

  7. Your Halle's Cranberry Bread looks delicious and so pretty on your new plate.

  8. This bread looks delicious and how 'Plate Perfect' it is, atop the beautiful Christmas tray.
    Thanks for the recipe, Joanie

  9. Love cranberry bread. The one I make my daughter's first grade teacher shared with her students. It came from the teacher's grandmother. It is similar to this recipe.

  10. Love your "Tea with Friends" website. Thank you so kindly for sharing this cranberry bread recipe with all of us. It truly looks tealicious. Pam B.

  11. You should also reprint the recipe for Halle's famous Welsh Rarebit. I make it all the time. It is fantastic. The Tea Room for years was called Minotaur Room with scenes of the Greek mythology painted on the walls. In later years it was renovated and called the Geranium Room, after the store's logo -- the flower. Geranium Rooms were also located at two of the Halle suburban stores- Severance Center and Westgate.


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