Edible Gift Idea: Snowy Mini Almond Pound Cakes!

/ Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hi there! How are you all holding up? I don't know about you but I've been stressing a bit about my gifting list. There are so many people I 'd like to give a little something to for the holidays but my present-buying-fund is already stretched thin! Edible gifts are the obvious answer but they can be kind of cheesy, right? I mean, how many times have you given/received cookie-mix-in-a-jar?! 

I'd rather get/give a little something that's simple, beautiful and really well made—like a treat you'd get as a parting gift at a très-chic restaurant here in NYC. These mini almond pound cakes come to mind. We made them for a big meeting here at the magazine but I think they'd be perfect as a little Christmas love token as well. What do you think?

Adapted from the Good Housekeeping Great Baking Cookbook 

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Sliced almonds and confectioners' sugar, for decorating (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325˚. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan (or grease small disposable loaf pans, as seen in the photo—about 5 per recipe). 
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan; sprinkle sliced almond on top. Bake 1 hour or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a small knife around the sides of the pan to loosen and invert to remove. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.


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