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Miniature Amaretto Cakes

1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup Amaretto
1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Generously grease and flour eight 4-inch fluted tube pans or twenty
21/2-inch muffin pans. Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature
30 minutes. Stir together flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. In a
large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed
for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time,
beating on medium-high speed about 6 minutes or till mixture is
very light and fluffy. - Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute
after each addition, scraping bowl often. Stir in 1/3 cup of the
Amaretto, the lemon peel, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture,
beating on medium-low speed just till combined. Pour batter into
prepared pans.

Bake in a 325 oven 20 to 25 minutes for 4-inch pans, 22 minutes
for muffin pans, or till a toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool
thoroughly. Prick fluted top and sides of each cake or top and
sides of each cupcake generously with tines of a fork. - For syrup,
in saucepan combine remaining sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and
1/2 cup water. Cook and stir over medium heat till bubbly and
sugar is dissolved; remove from heat. Stir in remaining Amaretto.
Cool 5 minutes. - Dip top and sides of each cake or top and sides
of each cupcake into syrup. Place on wire rack above a baking sheet.
Spoon or brush remaining syrup over tops of cakes. Cool. Wrap cakes
individually in plastic wrap; chill up to 3 weeks. (Or, transfer
to a tightly covered container and chill up to 3 weeks.) - For
giving, place the individually wrapped cakes in a tissue-paper-lined
box. Or place on foil-covered cardboard and overwrap with cellophane.
Makes 8 miniature cakes or 20 cupcakes, 4 gifts.

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