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Southern Holiday Desserts


phlawless
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I hope this doesn't rehash what other threads have already covered, but I'd love to know what sweets others have had gracing their Thanksgiving and Christmas tables that are a bit out of the ordinary. Although I did grow up in the south, I had yankee parents who unabashedly forbade ANY southern food in our home.

I also think all too often the south has been identified with really trashy sweets as well, i.e. lots of corn syrup and marshmallow fluff...what about desserts with less processed ingredients...provincial variations on traditional fare...

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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7 layer cake, with fudge frosting made from cocoa, butter, sugar and vanilla. I personally love the coconut cake, yellow cake frosted with whipped cream and sweetened freshly grated coconut left in the fridge to mellow for 24, but I have two coconut haters in the family! There is also a pineapple cake along the same lines as the 7 layer cake, with a cooked pineapple icing.

I know that it is encroaching upon your "marshmallow fluff" territory, but true divinity is extremely provincal, but not the least bit trashy. Yes it does contain corn syrup, but the technique has been passed down mother to daughter for at least four generations in my family, and produces a nougat that is light, melts in your mouth, and carries the essense of pecan straight to your taste buds. We girls all covet my mother' divinity bowl, where she beat the candy to submission four or five times over the holiday season. There really is nothing like it, and I find it a very unique homemade candy.

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I hope this doesn't rehash what other threads have already covered, but I'd love to know what sweets others have had gracing their Thanksgiving and Christmas tables that are a bit out of the ordinary.

My family is addicted to my pumpkin-chocolate creme brulee, and don't care WHAT else hits the table. Also, I puree the baked sweet potatoes with cream, add a lot of bourbon, and top it with a brown sugar/pecan topping, heavy on the pecans.
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Well, first of all, why would you want to get away from Pecan Pie and Caramel Cake? Are you tired of it? Because, if you are, you should really think about some kind of intensive therapy. That's kind of like saying, "Hey! I'm having too much fun! I should stop" or, "Hey, I have too much money! I don't want anymore." But, since you asked,

I am a cake guy (some people are pie guys, there are fundamental differences between these two groups that should be studied by some kind of cultural anthropologist) and beyond Caramel cake there's

German chocolate cake

Layered coconut cake

Carrot cake

Hummingbird Cake

Coca Cola Cake

Hershey Bar Cake

Angel food with seven minute icing cake (actually-who needs the cake?)

Peach Pound Cake

Pecan Pound Cake

Pound Pound Cake

Rum Cake

Bourbon Cake

Wedding Cake (don't knock it-people should eat more almond white cake-it's good)

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate pecan icing

I could keep going, but this is just to show you that there is a whole beautiful world full of delicious cake. Don't get stuck in a rut if it makes you unhappy. Just get another recipe.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Well, first of all, why would you want to get away from Pecan Pie and Caramel Cake? Are you tired of it? Because, if you are, you should really think about some kind of intensive therapy. That's kind of like saying, "Hey! I'm having too much fun! I should stop" or, "Hey, I have too much money! I don't want anymore." But, since you asked,

I am a cake guy (some people are pie guys, there are fundamental differences between these two groups that should be studied by some kind of cultural anthropologist) and beyond Caramel cake there's

German chocolate cake

Layered coconut cake

Carrot cake

Hummingbird Cake

Coca Cola Cake

Hershey Bar Cake

Angel food with seven minute icing cake (actually-who needs the cake?)

Peach Pound Cake

Pecan Pound Cake

Pound Pound Cake

Rum Cake

Bourbon Cake

Wedding Cake (don't knock it-people should eat more almond white cake-it's good)

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate pecan icing

I could keep going, but this is just to show you that there is a whole beautiful world full of delicious cake. Don't get stuck in a rut if it makes you unhappy. Just get another recipe.

there's also carmel cake, and coconut cake.

edit:sorry about the redunency?

Edited by highchef (log)
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I am a cake guy ...

Well, THAT certainly explains a lot! :wink:

Sweet potato pie is a good'n, but pumpkin and pecan pies have always been the holiday staples in my family. I don't remember ever having a Thanksgiving cake...

phlawless, are you looking for things other than pies and cakes??

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We have always had pecan pie, pumpkin pie, mince meat pie (particularly for Christmas) and that is about it. I don't ever recall having cake for the holidays. Well, there was the fruit cake that dad had to try a new recipe every year. And he did make his Scotch Raisin Bread every year that I can remember. But I am sure that the bread isn't a Southern classic. It is a family classic.

We do try "inventive riffs" on the classics from time to time. Last weekend, at a smoked pork birthday dinner for a friend, I served some pumpkin ice cream with warm dulce de leche sauce. (Sweetened condensed milk had gone on sale and I had made 10 cans earlier in the week.) It was one of those things that the sum was a lot more than the parts. I was thinking that sugared pecans would have sent it over the top.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Wow Mayhaw, you forgot the CHOCOLATE pound cake. Shame. And you say you are a cake man!

I knew when I went to school in the AM, and there was butter tempering in "the" bowl, that by the time I got back home there would be a chocolate pound cake that I could stuff myself on!

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My mother was into trashy desserts - the fruitcake made from candied fruit mixed with date nut bread mix from the supermarket. She would buy "flaming snowballs," vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut with fake holly and a red candle sticking out of the top. I still want one of those things every Christmas Eve!

My grandmother in Statesville NC, on the other hand, never touched a mix. For Christmas she made coconut cake and lemon meringue pie. She'd run out of fridge space, so we'd drive up to see her completely empty screened porch (the porch furniture went into the basement Labor Day on the dot) with a glorious coconut cake sitting in the middle on a card table like a throne. I can still see it. She occasionally made mints, too - no marble slab.

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Wow Mayhaw, you forgot the CHOCOLATE pound cake. Shame. And you say you are a cake man!

So many cakes, so little bandwidth.

Still, if I were to pick one piece of cake, the ultimate piece of cake, it would be Ann Cashion's caramel cake. She keeps saying

that she's going to give it up to me, but so far, no luck. I'll keep trying, though I suspect that it's a master baker thing and even if I have the recipe, it won't be the same.

And tremor, it's true. Now you know.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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You might give the King Cake a try. The holiday is, of course, Mardi Gras, but the cakes actually begin appearing on January 6 or Twelfth Night.

Creole Nouvelle

I hope this doesn't rehash what other threads have already covered, but I'd love to know what sweets others have had gracing their Thanksgiving and Christmas tables that are a bit out of the ordinary. Although I did grow up in the south, I had yankee parents who unabashedly forbade ANY southern food in our home.

I also think all too often the south has been identified with really trashy sweets as well, i.e. lots of corn syrup and marshmallow fluff...what about desserts with less processed ingredients...provincial variations on traditional fare...

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