Creamy Ham Casserole

Ham is a year round Southern Favorite. And a Creamy Ham Casserole is no execption !  With Easter around the corner you’re likely going to be looking for ways to use all that left over ham and this recipe is sure to please! Its never too early to plan!  

If you’re looking for the best easter recipes and DIY, check out our Pinterest Board, Simply Easter.

  simply easter(1)

 

We’ve got lots of goodies there and adding more daily!  But after Easter we ALL have left overs! Ham, Veggies and more, this Creamy Ham and Broccoli Casserole is the perfect way to use those left overs and still have a meal fit for a king. I’ve used this for family, guests and even pot-lucks! Grab a print and let me know how you like it! 

ham casserole

5.0 from 1 reviews

Creamy Ham And Broccoli Casserole
 
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Easy enough for a special family dinner. Special enough for guests! And a perfect potluck addition.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 4 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2½ cups cubed cooked ham
  • 1 (3oz can) sliced mushrooms (drained)
Topping
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut broccoli into florets.Steam over boiling salted water (covered) 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepane over medium heat.
  4. Wisk in flour until smooth.
  5. Gradually add milk, wisking constantly until mixture starts to thicken.
  6. Add cheese and sour cream, stirring well until cheese is melted and sour cream is incorporated.(DO NOT BOIL)
  7. Stir in broccoli, ham , and mushrooms into cheese sauce and pour into 2 quart prepared baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over casserole .
  9. Cut 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces and sprinkle evenly over breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake uncovered 40-45 minutes.

 Do you have great Easter DIY ideas or Recipes? Leave a link in the comments and I”ll add you to our board!

Italian Cream Cake

Becky left me an email earlier this month, wanting  my recipe for Italian Cream Cake. Well, as it happens, that’s my favorite birthday cake, and guess what ? My birthday was this week, so I made one. And can I just say. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  This is layer on layer of  to die for flavor !

Much more Southern in heritage than Italian, this cake’s close cousin is the Hummingbird Cake that I dearly love as well. It’s popularly served at weddings, baptisms, birthdays and holidays. And is so moist, it almost melts in your mouth!

The  recipe itself appeared in Southern Living Magazine somewhere in about 2002. Its one of those I bothered to write onto a recipe card, instead of destroying the magazine (which ultimately took a swim in the gulf thanks to hurricane Ivan). I’m going to have to rewrite that card for my box now, its getting a little tattered.  The addition of brown sugar gives the cake its caramel color and flavor.  Don’t let the ‘steps’ in this one throw you off, it is pretty simple to assemble, you just have to get your ‘ducks in a row’. 

Go ahead, grab a print of this one, and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Italian Cream Cake
 
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A Favorite Southern Cake For Birthday’s or Christmas. Adapted From Southern Living Holidays 2002 (or thereabouts)
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shaved coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Simply Quick Caramel Frosting
  • Simply Quick Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place shaved coconut in a single layer in on a cookie sheet
  3. Place pecans on a second cookie sheet.
  4. Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring each halfway through cooking.
  5. Using a heavy stand mixer beat butter and shortening at medium speed until fluffy
  6. gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well.
  7. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  8. Add vanilla, beating until blended.
  9. Combine flour and baking soda
  10. add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  11. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  12. Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  13. Using another bowl,beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.
  14. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  15. Bake at 350° for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  16. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  17. Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.

 By the way, for those of you who have asked,  you can subscribe to  Southern Living (1-year auto-renewal) or get  SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine instantly on your Android device.  

Southern Living Magazine is as much a part of the South as sweet tea, ask any southern woman. Odds are fairly high she’ll have at least the last 6 months of the magazine on her shelf. I love the magazine personally, and I think you will to. They have not sponsored this post or provided me any payment to mention them.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The Holiday season is upon us, which in the south means two things. Cooking and Baking. This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is an all american favorite sure to please even the pickiest eaters at your holiday table. Top with a spoonful of fresh whipped heavy cream and voila! The perfect dessert at Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Many thanks to Dr. Daisy Sutherland for providing this family favorite!

 

Vegan Pumkin Pie
 
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An All American Favorite
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: All American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Crust
  • ½ cup unbleached flour
  • 7 Tbs. whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar or granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 Tbs. almond milk plus ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. water
Filling
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin or puréed home-cooked fresh pumpkin (see note)
  • 1 cup low-fat almond milk or rice milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ Tbs. dark molasses or to taste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
Instructions
To make Crust:
  1. In medium bowl, combine both flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. In small bowl, mix oil and almond milk mixture.
  2. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until it holds together in a ball. If it is too dry, add some water, a little at a time, until dough is moist enough to roll. (If time allows, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.)
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin forming an 11-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Flute or crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
To make Filling:
  1. In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Top with your choice of dessert topping if desired.
Notes

The pie filling in this recipe needs to set overnight in the refrigerator, so make it the day before you serve it.

If you are going to use fresh pumpkin for the pie, do not use the jack-o’-lantern type; the flesh of these large pumpkins is too watery and stringy. Instead, look for small pumpkins, sometimes called pie pumpkins or other varieties of winter squash. To bake, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds. Set, cut side down, in a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out the cooked flesh and purée.

 

GranMa’s Skillet Biscuits

Welcome! Its Day 4 of our Birthday Celebration here at Simple Plate. Read on to enter and don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here.

TGIF!!!  I’m looking forward to the weekend! How about you? Weekends in THIS southern home bring all sorts of great breakfast treats. Sundays bring on the biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs, and occasionally a side of hashbrowns.  And no, as much as I’d like to say someone else gets the joy of whipping this up, a la Waffle House, it is I who brings on the bacon! I bring home a little too!

We’ve changed our eating habits significantly (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone  here).  Uncured bacon, organic eggs  and veggies have replaced the hormel and standard fare we were used to. But the flavors? They’re even more yummy! What has not been replaced are the staples of a southern breakfast.  Biscuits. I have such warm memories of my GranMa making homemade bread and biscuits. And I’ve taken her skillet biscuits recipe and updated it for today’s cook.

I challenge you to make these super easy, homemade biscuits  and to tell me they’re not the BEST you’ve ever tasted.  I promise you’ll not ever reach for the doughboy variety again!  Go Ahead, grab a print and let me know how MUCH you love these!

 

GranMa’s Sunday Biscuits
 
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Deep South Goodness
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic white wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs or cornmeal. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.)
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir with wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. The dough will be Very sticky.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.
  5. Press with your floured hands into a 1-inch thick round.
  6. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough.
  7. Place scrupulously clean iron skillet into oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Once preheated, melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet
  8. Place biscuits into hot buttered skillet so that they just touch. (use a potholder or mitt to remove skillet from oven its gonna be HOT)
  9. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting if necessary.
  10. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown (they’ll be kinda high) (watch closely so that the bottoms don’t burn!)
  11. Allow biscuits to cool slightly in the skillet then remove with a flat spatula to serving plate or basket.
Notes
I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached Flour and Domino Organic Sugar both are available at Fresh Markets, Whole Foods and online. If you need a Gluten Free Biscuit, look at Bobs Red Mill Recipes.

 

 

Guess What I’m giving away today? I love my iron skillets, I’ve begged for a variety of them at Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday. I’ve lucked on to a number of them at estate sales, garage sales and flea markets (most in pretty poor condition, I’ll post more about those soon and teach you to clean cast iron) . I want YOU to experience the ONE tool that EVERY southern cook must have in her arsenal. A cast iron skillet! So today I’m giving  away this

The perfect size for scrambled eggs, cornbread or for getting a great sear on a chicken breast or 2. This 6″ preseasoned beauty will be a welcome addition to your cookware. No need for weeks of seasoning, (its already done for you). And this small wonder is from the folks at Lodge Cast Iron Cookware in Tennessee.

So here are the Rules. Yes we have to have rules, ‘yall!

1. Leave A Comment On This Post telling me about your Weekend Breakfast Traditions.

2. See #1

Of course I’d love it if ‘yall would pin this post and folllow me there. And I’d love it even more if you’d tweet and facebook this post and follow me there too! But those aren’t mandatory.

And don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here. Oh and there are some great recipes on those pages too!

This contest will end on April 17, 2012 at midnight and I’ll draw a random comment number and announce the winner on April 18th. Good luck ‘yall!

disclaimer: I have no material relationship with the folks at Bob’s Redmill or at Lodge Cookware (even though I’d love to)  I simply use these products and I want you to fall in love with them as I have.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED

The Most Dangerous Recipe Ever

Today, Simple Plate (the blog) is 2! And every two-year old KNOWS a birthday party is a MUST. 

So, to quiet my inner 2 year old, WE’RE HAVING A PARTY!  And You are getting the presents.  Of course, you’ll need to do a few things to participate in the party, but they’ll be fun I promise.

Everyone knows my theory about life. It’s short. So you should eat dessert first!  So lets start with the cake!

Several years ago, when I’d decided to re-invent myself and return to school,  I became an impoverished graduate student. One with a craving for good food and chocolate!  Well, as you might imagine, my budget wasn’t much over ramen noodles. EVERY night. But I managed to survive and to come up with some fairly good recipes during that time. Cooking for one is always a challenge and even though I’d moved all of my cookbooks and notes into the farmhouse I was living in, dessert for one, was  next to impossible.  Until, that is, I learned to whip up this  yummy bit of deliciousness. Today, all sorts of variations of this thing exist, this is my own.

A  word of warning.. this is THE MOST DANGEROUS RECIPE EVER!   Use this recipe wisely! You’re only 60 seconds from having  chocolate cake anytime you want it!

most dangerous recipe ever

5.0 from 2 reviews

Chocolate Cake In A Mug
 
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A brownie like cake for one. Extra yummy!
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ Tablespoon Madagascar vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • whipped cream for topping
  • Powdered cocoa for Topping
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together butter, water and vanilla.
  2. Whisk in cocoa, flour and salt.
  3. Pour into a 12 oz or larger mug.
  4. Microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  5. Cake will be HOT!!! Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool.
  6. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa.
Notes
My microwave is 1100 watts. Center of cake will be like a ‘molten’ chocolate cake that you get at some restaurants. If you cook about 75 seconds you’ll get a uniformly baked little cake. Personally, I like the molten variety. You can use cupcake liners or not.

 

Now that you have you cake, and you can eat it too, lets get on with the presents! And I have some good ones!  Beginning today until Friday I’ll add one gift to the  list. I’ll draw for the gifts on April 18, 2012, so be sure you  visit each day this  to  enter the drawings.    Here’s the first! (Each Gift will be drawn individually)

The first gift  I have is a  MiFi®2200 Intelligent Mobile Device from Virgin Mobile. I love their service as they’re on the Sprint Network. You can connect up to 5 devices through this for internet access at 3G speeds at home or on the go!

No Contract, No Overages & No Activation Fees
Nationwide Sprint® 3G Network
Only Pay for What You Need
Change Plans as Your Needs Change

The gift drawing is for the device only. Service is available through  Virgin Mobile, USA. You can get more details on plans and pricing at http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/mifi-2200.html.

Here are the rules. Yes we have to have rules.

1.If you have a blog you must link up through the linky below. If you have NO blog (really?) You’ll receive one entry for your comment only (please let me know you do not have a blog in your comment)

2. Entrants will receive one entry for a link up through the linky tool AND a comment.

3. Additional entries are as follows and are NOT REQUIRED  in order to be eligible.[donotprint]

  • One additional entry  for  following me on Twitter  AND Tweeting this Birthday Party with the hashtag #HappyBirthdaySimplePlate  (let me know in the comments)
  • One additional entry for following me on PinterestAND  Pinning this  recipe on Pinterest (let me know you’ve done this in the comments)
  • One additional entry for telling your readers on your blog about this Birthday Party (leave a link to your post in the comments)

4. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email and here on the blog. If the winner fails to respond within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Of course I’d love it if you would also follow Simple Plate on Facebook, but I can’t offer you an entry for that.

disclosure: I have not been compensated or given any product by Virgin Mobile USA, I doubt they even know I exist until I miss  pay my monthly bill.  This item was purchased by me. I have one. I love it. I thought you would too!

Here’s the link up!  Each Gift will be drawn Individually!  DRAWING DATE 04/18/2012 We Have chosen a winner. YOUR COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

An Apple A Day…

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs

cake

Fall brings on football, tailgating, pumpkins, scarecrows and apples!   A delicous way to get that apple a day!

Fresh Apple Cake  [print_link]

Summary: Sinfully delicious? Nahhhh but good to the core!  Use what ever varieties of apples you have on hand. Go ahead mix em up, the flavors are yummy!


From the kitchen of : Geraldine Olive, Bhm, AL

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a large tube or bundt pan.
  3. Sift together salt, baking soda and flour.
  4. In mixer bowl, blend oil and sugar well.
  5. Slowly add dry sifted ingredients into oil and sugar mixture. (Batter will be stiff at this point)
  6. Whisk eggs together lightly and add to batter.
  7. Reduce speed on mixer and add nuts and vanilla to batter.
  8. Pour batter slowly into prepared pan, shifting carefully so that batter is even .
  9. Bake for 1 1/2 hours @250 degrees.
  10. Cool.
  11. Invert on to cake plate.
  12. Add topping

Quick notes

You can substitute walnuts for pecans and serve as a coffee cake  with no topping as well.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Copyright © Simple Plate 2004-2011.

cake

 

 

cake

 

 

Praline Topping

Ingredients

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat
  2. Whisk constantly as it boils for 1 minute
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Stir in Vanilla
  5. Gradually add in powdered sugar beating with hand mixer until smooth.
  6. Mix gently for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened and cooled.
  7. Spoon over cooled cake
  8. Sprinkle with chopped pecans

Quick notes

You’ll need your hand mixer for this one. And be sure to remove the frosting from the heat before adding in vanilla.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Copyright © Simple Plate 2004-2011.

cake

This recipe was given to me by a dear friend who’s mother deserves ALL the credit for this yumminess!  Ms Geraldine was a true southern lady! A wonderful wife and mother. We loved her dearly and she is missed, but not forgotten!

 

Super Secret Ginger Cookies

Over the past few days the alarms have sounded more than a few times as friends have asked for some of  my specialty cookie recipes. I’ve not been too proned to share the old family cookies, but if I don’t who will? And now since most of the old folks have left our earthly home,  I think its time to share some goodies.. Yesterday was one of those days, and my dear friend Audrey needed some quick and easy cookies to bring for a party at her daughter’s gymnastics class party today.  I’d just made a few dozen of these lovelies and the recipe is so simple  I’ll share it here too. Audrey said she thought she’d been given the holy grail of cookie recipes..but truthfully, this one was passed on to me by my bestest friend Sissy’s, Aunt Sis.  We must have been 8th or 9th graders and it somehow got into our minds to make gingerbread houses.  Hours later and covered in royal icing, our houses appeared for all to see (I wish I had a picture).  More than slightly lopsided, we thought they were beautiful!  The recipe below can be used for making gingerbread houses (you’ll have to make your own template or download this one from Martha Stewart or Paula’s made it easy with  this

Over the years, I’ve learned some things about baking, burned my share of cookies and tweaked some recipes to get the results I want, so here goes..
There are several variations in the preparation below..read through carefully. If I confused you anywhere, feel free to let me know through my contact page, I’ll be happy to help. The picture above is the last variation..my favorite and by far the easiest!

Super Secret Ginger Cookies
 
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Soft, sparkly cookies. Perfect for a holiday party!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: about 2 doz
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2¼ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
Simple Decorations, optional:
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup colored or crystal sanding sugar granules
Instructions
For Cookies:
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth using an electric mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
  3. Sift all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until a dough forms.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in waxed paper wrap.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line cookie sheets.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Divide dough in half and put on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s about ⅛-inch thick. While rolling, flour the work surface and rolling pin, as needed.
  8. Cut out desired cookie shapes with cookie cutters.
  9. Transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet, spacing them 1-inch apart. (Yield depends on the size of your cutters.)
  10. Lightly brush cookies with milk and sprinkle with sugar granules, as desired.
  11. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, 10 to 14 minutes.
  12. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
This is my favorite way to make these.
  1. Roll the dough into 2 logs that are about 2-inches high and 1-foot long.
  2. Wrap them in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Once thoroughly chilled, slice the cookies into ½-inch thick rounds and roll them as balls into sanding(coarse) sugar.
  5. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. watch them beginning at 8 min, bottoms should be browned tops cracked but cookies will be soft, cool on rack and let pans cool between batches.(Yield on this method is about 2 dozen.)
Notes

The chilling and rolling and sanding sugar make these crackle and crumble on top and ever so beautiful!

 

Southern Christmas Fruitcake

This fruitcake recipe has been around our house since Noah was a first mate. More cake than fruit, and the added Grand Mariner makes it extra yummy. Might want to keep the cake away from the small ones. They’ll love the fruitcake cookies from earlier! Mind you, this ain’t ya mamma’s fruitcake and certainly not the one you’ll find in the grocery store. You know the one, the little bricks from the Claxton Company are southern staples, but this is the real deal and good enough to convert even the staunchest  anti-fruitcake member of the family!

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup:

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 pound mixed dried fruits, such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, and chopped apricots
  • 1/2 pound, (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces almond paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier, or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Directions

Make a simple-syrup by combining the sugar and water in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.


Combine the dried fruits in a large mixing bowl. Pour the simple-syrup over them, toss to coat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve the syrup.


Cream the butter, sugar and almond paste together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing in between each addition on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate.


Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium-size mixing bowl and blend well. Add this mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, each time mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be thick.


Add the warm fruit and all of the nuts a little at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Lightly grease a bundt pan with butter or non-stick baking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until golden brown and the top springs back when touched, about 45 to 50 minutes (turning the pan to ensure even browning after 30 minutes.)


Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan, then remove and continue to cool upside-down on wire racks.


Make tiny holes with a toothpick randomly on the rounded end of the cake. Combine the remaining simple syrup with the remaining 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier and the bourbon. Wrap the cake in a layer of cheesecloth and pour 1/4 cup of the syrup over the top of each cake. Store in a plastic zip bag for 3 or 4 days until the cake is slightly stale. Sprinkle syrup over cakes once every 2 to 3 days until all of the syrup is used. Let the cakes age for up to 3 weeks before eating.

For the Whiskey Sauce:

3 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Combine 2 3/4 cups of the cream with the bourbon and sugar in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium-heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.


In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Add this to the cream-and-bourbon mixture and simmer stirring often, until the mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm with the fruitcake.


The sauce may be stored, after it has cooled, in an airtight container for 24 hours. When ready to serve, warm over low heat.

You Won’t Believe This Green Tomato Pound Cake Recipe

Southern Women have always been admired for their ingenuity and frugal ways. Just about this time each year when I was growing up, I spent a few months with my grand parents. They were truck farmers (they took their home grown veggies and fresh laid chicken eggs to the farmers market every day) Tomatoes were filling the vines, weighing down the plants, and fried green tomatoes were a compliment to almost every meal. But, granny had a special way with dessert, and here’s a wonderful “pound” cake with a unique ingredient. You’ll love it!

You’ll need a large bunt type or tube pan for this recipe. You probably will have some left over batter, so have a couple of small loaf pans ready just in case. Be sure to butter and flour your pans well. Also, this recipe calls for REAL butter. I’ve not tried it with margarine or any substitutes. Go ahead and splurge. Its worth it!

Green Tomato Pound Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups diced green tomatoes
  • 1 cup golden raisins (soak until plump)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well (batter will be soft).
  7. Stir in tomatoes, raisins and walnuts.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
  12. Spoon Browned Butter icing over cake .
Notes

Browned Butter Icing:
In a medium saucepan over low heat melt ½ cup (1 stick) butter.
Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until butter is lightly browned.
Whisk in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

 

 

Somebody told me Paula Deen loves this recipe and has used it on her Food Network program. Well, she’s a  good southern woman, so I imagine it was handed down to her just as it was to me.