Desserts in Jars: Almond-Poppyseed Cakes

My mom was one of those people who had a great group of girlfriends wherever we lived.  There were always parties and get-togethers and celebrations.  Her girlfriends from Houston are affectionately referred to as "the Ya-yas," and their children have always felt like cousins to me.

As I write this post on what would have been my mom's 67th birthday, I can't help but think of how much she would have LOVED to bring a tray of desserts in jars to one of her girlfriend get-togethers.  I can totally picture her baking up a recipe and then digging through her quilting scraps for just the right fabric to tie around the jars.

There IS something special about Desserts in Jars.
This is Shaina Olmanson's new book, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine...and it is a treasure.  Shaina walks through the basics of using jars for all kinds of dessert making and then provides luscious recipes for everything from cakes to pies, to bread pudding, to frozen treats, to mixes.

The photography is GORGEOUS!  Last year, I had the pleasure to meet Shaina and she is just one of those people you instantly love.  Knowing that there is a gracious and sweet person behind this book makes it all the more wonderful.

I chose to make the Almond-Poppyseed Cakes.  They ARE incredible.  What I really loved is that almost every bite had some of the buttery goodness from the buttering the insides of the jar.  Extra butter.  Mmm...
You must try them.

{I was a little worried about finding jars, but right in my grocery store, there were oodles of them to choose from. OODLES!}

Here's your chance to WIN a copy of Desserts in Jars for your very own.  Use the widget below (if you are reading this post in an email, click over) to answer the question provided.
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Otherwise, if you'd just like to leave a comment without entering, please do so the usual way. :)

Entries accepted through midnight, July 27th.  Good luck!

Almond-Poppyseed Cakes in Jars
{with permission from Desserts in Jars}

Makes 12 individual almond–poppy seed cakes

·       3 tablespoons poppy seeds
·       2 tablespoons boiling water
·       1¾ cups all-purpose flour
·       3 tablespoons cornstarch
·       2 teaspoons baking powder
·       1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·       1½ cups sugar
·       4 large egg yolks
·       4 large eggs
·       2 teaspoons almond extract
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       ¼ cups sliced almonds

1.     Place the poppy seeds in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and stir to coat. Allow to sit for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.
2.     Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease twelve 8-ounce jars with butter. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a medium-size bowl and set aside. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the egg yolks and eggs. Alternate adding the flour and the eggs to the butter mixture, mixing after each addition. Stir in the almond extract, the vanilla extract, and the moistened poppy seeds.
3.     Fill each jar half full with batter and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Place the jars 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes spring back when tapped. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Desserts in Jars...Shaina's book makes it a delicious art form. You'll love it.
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