Simple Sweets: Pecan-Vanilla Tea Cakes!

/ Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome back, lovely friends! Here's a little something sweet to get you through the day: pecan-vanilla tea cakes...nutty little cakes that are perfect for dunking in the best homemade coffee or tea, mmm! I wanted to keep things super simple for you, so the batter is made entirely in a food processor—just make sure you don't over-mix or the cakes will come out tough. They only take a few minutes to pull together, so give 'em a try and let me know what you think.

MAKES: about 2 dozen

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup pecan halves
2 large eggs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cocoa powder, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Spray pastry molds or mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Arrange the molds on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart (do not let the molds touch).
2. Pulse the sugar and pecan halves in a food processor until the pecans are in small bits. Add the eggs and pulse until just combined. Add the butter, milk and vanilla and pulse to make a loose batter.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Spoon batter into the prepared molds. Bake until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool slightly in the molds, then unmold and cool completely. Dust with cocoa powder. Serve with coffee! 

Fun fact: I saved the molds I used from the Good Housekeeping basement! We have a bunch of fabulous, vintage baking tools in storage and I was lucky enough to be able to take these home with me. They're kind of precious, right?

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