Book Review: Classic Southern Desserts

Having spent my formative years in the south, I may be a little biased. But I firmly believe that nobody knows how to make a smashing dessert like the folks from below the Mason Dixon line. Southern Living’s “Classic Southern Desserts: All-Time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings, Cobblers, Ice Cream & More” assembles the greatest hits of those buttery confections in one convenient volume. With over 200 recipes, the gang’s all here. They even throw in an entire section dedicated to cheesecake.

You’re gonna want to bake everything in this book. Some of the recipes sound harder to pull off than others but, if the pictures are any indication, they would doubtless be worth the effort. There are also plenty that sound quick and easy. They aren’t too proud to encourage pre-made pie crust and other store-bought short cuts. A proper southerner understands that a good homemade dessert is a good homemade dessert. Who cares if it didn’t take all day to make?

Each section introduction gives some history behind the genre and highlights a few standouts. The descriptive paragraph for each recipe oozes with imagery, making each and every entry sound like the greatest dessert of all time. Where applicable, they also tell the stories behind the recipes so you can feel like you are reenacting history in your kitchen.

Each recipe is also helpfully labeled to identify certain categories of desserts such as “holiday favorite”, “sweets to share” and “kids love it”.

Here are a few titles that caught my eye and will be realized on my counter top ASAP:

*Praline Bundt Cake (with sugared pecans!)
*Baby Sweet Potato Cakes with Pecans and Sticky Caramel Sauce
*Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches with Rum-Raisin Filling
*S’more Puffs
*Grapefruit Tart
*Caramel-Applesauce Cobbler with Bourbon-Pecan Ice Cream
*Sweet Potato Cobbler
*Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake
*Key Lime Frozen Yogurt

Now try to tell me your kitchen isn’t calling to you.

Southern Living’s “Classic Southern Desserts: All-Time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings, Cobblers, Ice Cream & More” is now available in hardcover.

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2 Comments

  1. Tell me more about these smores puffs…

    • I’ll send you the recipe! Totally easy and totally late-night-drunkeriffic sounding.


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