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Archive for Desserts

Mud Hen Bars

by Dale

A mud hen is a bird with long legs and short wings that inhabits swamps and marshes. Such birds have been known as marsh hens, rails, coots or mud hens. This bird requires a great deal of effort to get airborne so it has to paddle across the water for quite a ways before it attains flight. This is what gives it the name “mud hen”, because it stirs up a lot of mud in the process.  Maybe the sugary meringue topping on these bars resemble the color of mud.

“A shared recipe in the South is more precious than gold or silver, and it always comes with a story.”

1/4 Cup shortening
4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
1 whole egg
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Chopped Nuts
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
3/4 Cup  Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1.    Butter or grease a 9×13 pan.
2.    In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar. Beat in the whole egg and the yolks of the other two eggs.
3.    In a separate bowl, shift he flour, baking powder, and salt together.
4.    Combine the flour mixture with the creamed mixture, blending thoroughly.
5.    Spread the batter into the baking pan, patting with your hands if need be.
6.    Sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows, and nuts over the batter.
7.    In large bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until stiff. Fold in brown sugar until well combined.
8.    Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
9.    Cool completely and then cut into bars.
10.    Enjoy!

Peach Cobbler

by Dale

Peach Cobbler

Cobbler filling:
4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the skins) this is about 10 to 12 peaches
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon corn starch
Pinch of salt

Cobbler Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon sugar, for topping
Whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add butter and knead until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough just comes together.

Remove dough and knead lightly on a lightly floured surface until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and form into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and roll each disk into a 9-inch square approximately 1/4-inch thick.  Use flour to prevent sticking. Keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Melt butter in a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cornstarch and water and cook until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon, salt. Remove syrup from heat hold until ready to use.

Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pan, place one of the rolled out crust in bottom of the pan stretch to come up the sides, add peaches, pour syrup on top of peaches, place the second crust on top of peaches, stretch as needed to seal, brush with melted butter and sprinkle heavily with sugar.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbly. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Top with whip cream or serve ala mode.

1 Categories : Desserts, Recipes

Our Red Velvet Cake is a Southern favorite… with it’s bright red color… the subtle hint of chocolate… that decadent frosting…. these Pancakes channel all of those wonderful flavors… right down to the cream cheese icing…

For Pancakes:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
12 ounces buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoon red food color
Mix all the dry ingredients together first… then add all the wet

For Glaze/Icing
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
couple drops of milk to get consistency to drizzle
Chopped Pecans to garnish

Serve 3 to order

Carrot Souffle

by Dale

Dale’s Famous Carrot Souffle
(a Most Requested Recipe and Menu Item!)

3 lbs. Carrots, peeled
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 TBLS Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
4 TBLS All Purpose Flour
6 Fresh Eggs
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Liquid Margarine
1 TBLS Confectioners Sugar

Cut carrots into 1” chunks, place in sauce pan, cover with water,  add a dash of salt and cook over medium heat for 45 min. or until they are very soft. Test with a fork.  While carrots are hot, whip in a food processor or blender; add sugars, baking powder, and vanilla.  Add flour and mix until smooth.  Add eggs and cinnamon then margarine.  Be careful not to over mix, you don’t want a lot of foam.

Place in oven dish, filling the dish about ¾ full to allow room for it to rise.
Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees, or until center springs back to touch.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.  Yield:  8-10 servings.

Southern Ambrosia

As a child growing up in Florida,  I remember having Ambrosia every Christmas and Thanksgiving on our trips to Kentucky to visit family.  It was the only time we ever had it because an entire dish made up of fruit was considered a luxury in those days.  Oh, we had an occasional orange, apple or banana but pineapple, cherries and nuts were reserved for special occasions or holidays and when we had this wonderful Southern Ambrosia.  The adults kept this dish a secret from us kids more for them I’m sure… I got it by mistake one year…been hooked ever since.  This is my grandmother’s recipe on my fathers side of the family… we affectionately called her Baba…

I’ve used canned pineapple and orange for convenience. Fresh is much better if available.
* 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits
* 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments
* 1/4 cups maraschino cherries… drained and rinsed
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows
* 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
* 1/2 cup pecan pieces
* 1/2 cup dairy sour cream OR plain yogurt
* 1 cup Whipped Topping — cool whip

1. Drain pineapple and orange segments.
2. In large bowl, combine pineapple, orange segments, cherries, marshmallows, coconut and nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream and whipped topping.
4. Stir sour cream mix into fruit mixture.
5. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.
Serves: 4 to 6

Hummingbird Cake is such a strange name that it makes you wonder its origin. Unfortunately, my research did not lead to an answer so we are still left wondering. It does seem plausible that it may have something to do with how sugary rich this cake is – just like the nectar that Hummingbirds love to feed on. Anyway, what we do know is that the recipe gained widespread popularity after it appeared in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine. We also know that the recipe was submitted by a Mrs. L. H. Wiggins of Greensboro North Carolina and consists of three layers of cake filled with chopped pecans, crushed pineapple, and mashed bananas and frosted with a delicious cream cheese icing.

[Note from Editor: Further research reveals that the cake may have originated in Jamaica, where the national bird is the The Doctor-Bird (Trochilus Polytmus) or Swallow-Tail Hummingbird (picture accompanies this post), which lives only in Jamaica. Some say that the cake is so delicious it makes you hum with happiness while others think the cake is named because it's sweet enough for hummingbirds. Another theory is that people hover around the cake similar to the way hummingbirds hover around flowers. notes that perhaps it was named after the way the cake draws people in and is eaten quickly, similar to the eating pattern of those tiny energetic fliers.]

This cake is wonderfully moist and tender aided by the use of oil, instead of butter. My motto these days is “the easier, the better” and this cake fits the bill. No mixer is needed, just two bowls: one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry. Stir the two together and you are done.

Hummingbird Cake is similar to a carrot cake, especially when filled and frosted with the ever popular cream cheese icing. The icing is slightly different in that it has a nice caramel flavor, thanks to the addition of finely chopped pecans. Because this cake is so rich it needs to be served in small slices, which makes it the perfect cake for large gatherings.

A Southern cake needs a Southern ingredient, and we definitely find it in pecans. Pecans are a native Southern American nut and are a member of the hickory family. It is the third ranking crop in the United States, cultivated in the States of Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. They are at their peak when harvested in the fall, but are available year round. A smooth, reddish-brown, one-inch (2.54 cm) long oval shell encloses two golden-brown crinkled lobes with ivory-colored meat. Pecans have a buttery, soft-textured, slightly bittersweet taste that is enhanced when toasted. Their high fat content (over 70%) causes them to go rancid quickly so store in fridge.

Now you know what a Hummingbird Cake is….enjoy a slice at Dale’s.

2 Categories : Desserts, Easter Recipes, Recipes

Hummingbird Cake

Yield: 16 servings
3  cups  all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  sugar
1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
3  large eggs, beaten
1  cup  vegetable oil
1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
1  (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1  cup  chopped pecans
2  cups  chopped bananas
¼ cup Sweetened Coconut (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
1/2  cup  chopped pecans

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Chopped pecans for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans

Read a post about how Hummingbird Cake may have gotten its name.

3 Categories : Desserts, Easter Recipes, Recipes