Growing up, I’ve never gave pause to the southern status of the desserts my family made. Everyone eats Bourbon balls and pecan pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? When Southern Living offered to send me a copy of their latest book, Classic Southern Desserts, I hungrily agreed. I’m not much of a baker but this is a good excuse to take a crack at some of those favorites that bring back a flood of memories. On the shopping list? Buy an electric mixer, pronto. My brother is actually the real chef in the family, working at an organic bakery in Kentucky. At least I can bombard him with questions if Maw Maw doesn’t know the answer.
The book is chocked full of every dessert imaginable, from innumerable variations of bread pudding, cobblers, tarts, pies, and cookies. There’s a recipe to satisfy your deepest cravings, no matter the occasion. From classic sugar cookies for an after work treat, lemon tea bread for Sunday brunch, or a cherry bread pudding fit for a special dinner party. If you’re as inexperienced as I am, you’ll appreciate the detailed instructions and photos. In keeping with our tradition for rich storytelling, the anecdotes behind these time honored recipes will keep you entertained and amused. If you’re counting calories, consider this a good excuse to cheat. After all, everything is okay in moderation.
Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts (Oxmoor House, $21.95 paperback) is available for purchase via Amazon.
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