Pecan Christmas Cake

½ cup unsalted butter
4 eggs; separated
2 cups cake flour; sifted
¾ teaspoons sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; fine chopped1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in egg yolks all at once. Add vanilla.
4. Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside 1 cup of the dry ingredients. Add the remaining flour mixture and the milk in small portions, alternately, mixing well with each addition, starting and ending with an addition of the dry ingredients.
5. Mix together, the reserved flour and the nuts, and stir into the batter, mixing just until blended.
6. In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold them into the batter. Pour batter into a 9-inch-by-5-inch greased and floured loaf pan, or 3 quart mold.
7. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
8. Frost with your favorite icing.

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