One pound of powdered white sugar.
One pound of fresh butter - washed.
Fourteen ounces of sifted flour.
Pound the spice to a fine powder, in a marble mortar, and sift it well.
Put the sugar into a deep earthen pan, and cut the butter into it. Stir them together, till very light.
Beat the eggs in a broad shallow pan, till they are perfectly smooth and thick.
Stir into the butter and sugar a little of the beaten egg, and then a little flour, and so on alternately, a little egg and a little flour, till the whole is in; continuing all the time to beat the eggs, and stirring the mixture very hard. Add by degrees, the spice, and then the liquor, a little at a time. Finally, put in the rose-water, or essence of lemon. Stir the whole very hard at the last.
Take about two dozen little tins, or more, if you have room for them in the oven. Rub them very well with fresh butter. With a spoon, put some of the mixture in each tin, but do not fill them to the top as the cakes will rise high in baking. Bake them in a quick oven, about a quarter of an hour. When they are done, they will shrink a little from the sides of the tins.
Before you fill the tins again, scrape then well with a knife, and wash or wipe them clean.
If the cakes are scorched by too hot a fire, do not scrape off" the burnt parts till they have grown cold.
Make an icing with the whites of three eggs, beaten till it stands alone, and twenty-four tea-spoonfuls of the best loaf-sugar, powdered, and beaten gradually into the white of egg. Flavor it with a tea-spoonful of rose-water or eight drops of essence of lemon, stirred in at the last. Spread it evenly with a broad knife, over the top of each queen-cake, ornamenting them, (while the icing is quite wet) with red and green nonpareils, or fine sugar-sand, dropped on, carefully, with the thumb and finger.
When the cakes are iced, set them in a warm place to dry; but not too near the fire, as that will cause the icing to crack.
You may color icing of a fine pink, by mixing with ii a few drops of liquid cochineal, which is prepared by boiling very slowly in an earthen or china vessel twenty grains of cochineal powder, twenty grains of cream of tartar, and twenty grains of powdered alum, all dissolved in a gill of soft water, and boiled till reduced to one half. Strain it and cork it up in a small phial. Pink icing should be ornamented with white nonpareils.
In buying essence or oil of lemon, endeavor to get that which is white, it being much the strongest and best. When it looks greenish, it is generally very weak, so that when used, a double or treble quantity is necessary.