In pioneer times, making a cake with nuts took a lot of work. You had to gather the nuts in the woods and then crack them by hand. You had to beat the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. You even had to build the fire in the woodstove to bake the cake! Now you can just buy hickory nuts at farmers' markets, use an electric mixer, and turn on the stove. NOTE: Hickory nuts still aren't easy to crack, though, but they are worth the effort for the flavor they bring to this cake!
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease inside of a standard-sized loaf pan with oil or butter. Then sprinkle a little flour on the pan. Shake the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Dump out any extra flour.
Separate 3 eggs into whites and yolks. Set them aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place sugar and soft butter in a large bowl and beat together until they look a little fluffy.
Add milk and vanilla to the egg yolks and beat well. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the butter mixture, and then stir in the hickory nuts.
Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat until the whites are firm enough to form stiff peaks when you touch them. This will take several minutes.
Use a big spoon or rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter. This should take a minute or two, so go slowly and be gentle!
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the loaf pan or on a wire rack.
When the cake is cool, use a small sifter to sift powdered sugar over the cake.
Sweet Potato Pie, a Kwanzaa Recipe excerpt shared from "The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids."
"Sweet potato pie is an African American dessert that is often served during Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that runs from December 26 to New Years Day. On each day of Kwanzaa, families light a candle and discuss ideas about what's important in life. At the end of the week, they celebrate with a party where there is dancing, music, and, of course, delicious heritage foods," writes cookbook author Terese Allen.
To make sweet potato pie according to this recipe geared toward young readers, you will need the following INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 2-3 large sweet potatoes)4 tablespoons butter, melted1 cup sugar3 large eggs1 cup half-and-half or heavy whipping cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1 store-bought 9-inch pie crust (in a foil pan), unbaked - or make your own pie crust!
DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, melted butter, and sugar. Stir well. Using a fork or wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the half-and-half, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Place the pie crust on the baking sheet or pizza pan. Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust. Bake the pie until it no longer "jiggles" in the middle. This will take 45-55 minutes. (Check for doneness by poking a toothpick in the center of the pie. If it comes out clean, the pie is done.) Cool the pie to room temperature on a wire rack.