Pineapple upside-down cake gets a holiday makeover when pears and bay leaves replace the pineapple and an orange and bay leaf glaze stands in for the caramelized brown sugar.
Bring confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and 6 of the bay leaves to boil in small saucepan on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature to thicken and cool. Microwave 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter and milk in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until butter is melted. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides. Place pan in oven 2 to 3 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir pear brandy into melted butter. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pear slices and remaining 6 bay leaves in decorative pattern in pan. Set aside.
Mix flour and baking powder in medium bowl. Beat eggs, remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed 5 minutes or until very thick and pale in color, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until smooth. Pour evenly over pears and bay leaves in pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Pierce cake deeply with large fork. Spoon 1/2 of the glaze over cake. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto cake platter. Spoon remaining glaze over pears. Cool before serving.