And let the Christmas baking begin….

Each year the first day of December means I have a countdown. A countdown to bake my little heart out for co-workers, husband’s co-workers, church folk, and I’m even paid, by real people, to make gift boxes of my baked goods.

Although the prep work started weeks ago.
Before I can bake all my wonderful goodies I have to actually decide WHAT I’m going to bake. It has to be different then last year, yet still ‘Christmasy.’ So that means certain flavors are for sure in, and certain flavors are for sure out. Like cinnamon and mint, duh, no brainer, perfect Christmas flavors. But flavors or ingredients like strawberry and lemon are out. Mainly because they aren’t in season so they cost a stinken arm and a leg to use right now.

Who needs strawberry and lemon when you have cinnamon and pecans in pound cake? I mean, how scrumptious does that looks?

Last year I made a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pound Cake that was maybe one of the most amazing cakes I have ever had. My co-workers were blown away by it. So this year I thought I would make a pound cake inspired by that one. Maybe I just have a soft spot in my heart for pound cake. Because this one, once again, AMAZING!!!!!

Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten
Makes 2 loaf cakes
Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped candied pecans (or plain pecans, whatever you have on hand)
Cinnamon Glaze
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup half and half
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the pecans last and mix just for about 5 seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans, place them on a baking rack and allow them to cool completely.

To make the glaze, mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Drizzle the cinnamon glaze over each cake. Be generous, no skimping on sweet cinnamon glaze.

Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.