Best Carrot Cake
* 4 eggs
* 3/4 cup butter
* 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tbsp. baking powder
* 1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 lb. carrots, cut up
* 1 cup pecans, toasted
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 an 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
* 1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple (juice pack), drained
* 1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
* Fresh pineapple slices, drained
1. Allow eggs, butter, and cream cheese to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the bottoms and 1 inch up the sides of two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Set pans aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, lemon peel, and salt; set aside.
3. In a food processor bowl* process carrots with on-off turns until finely chopped. Add pecans and 1/2 cup of sugar; process until pecans are finely chopped.
4. In extra-large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds; beat in remaining 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Stir carrot mixture and drained crushed pineapple into sugar-butter mixture until combined. Stir in flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
6. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 days. Just before serving top with pineapple rings.
Makes 2 loaves (20 1-slice servings)
7. Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl combine 4-ounces softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 2-3/4 to 3 cups powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
8. *Note: If you do not have a food processor, finely shred the carrots and finely chop the pecans. Prepare as directed above, except add the sugar all at once, stir in the shredded carrot with the pineapple, and stir in the pecans with the flour mixture.