One batch makes three mini-loaves. Food director Elizabeth Baird wraps them in cellophane tied with a bow to offer as host and hostess presents or to give to friends who don't have time to bake but who appreciate the superior taste of home baking.
- Portion size 8 servings
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cups chopped toasted almonds
Grease three 5-3/4- x 3-1/4-inch (625 mL) mini-loaf pans; line bottoms with waxed paper. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in orange rind and almond extract.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk and orange juice, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of wet. Fold in almonds. Divide batter evenly among pans.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until golden and tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Wrap in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap and store in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)