Momma Gert's Place

Greetings readers!

May your holidays be filled with the warmth and love of the season! May there be peace in your lives throughout the new year!

As we approach the Christmas season, many a home will be found baking, baking, baking! In last month's column, I told you that our "Season" begins in November and end in January. I was terribly incorrect and was corrected by a friend of mine who promptly stated that ball season doesn't end until Valentine's Day. We just "let up" a bit after New Year's but there are at least two more balls before we retire them for the winter.

In this edition, however, I decided to stay with the main stream of things and enter a collection of desserts that are found on the dessert table for my family during Christmas. The child in me still makes dessert one of the most important moments of dinner and I relish good dessert on the Christmas menu.

Hopefully, you will enjoy them and they will help to create memories for you during your holidays.

On our "menu", we have:

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Add the oil and eggs one at a time. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Add carrots, pineapple, nuts, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9 X 13 inch pan, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup nuts

Mix all ingredients together. Spread on top and sides of cake.

  • Yields: 8 slices
  • Preparation time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

  • 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together first five ingredients. Pour half batter into a greased bundt cake pan. Mix last three ingredients together. Pour on top of batter in cake pan. Pour remaining batter on top of cinnamon, nut mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Icing:

  • 4 ounces of 8 ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

Pour over cake.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: 1 hour

Better Than Sex Cake

  • 1 box Duncan Hines butter cake mix
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package (6 oz) chocolate pieces
  • 1 oz grated German sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 8 ounce package softened cream cheese
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut

Mix first 7 ingredients for two minutes at medium speed. Stir in chocolate pieces, grated chocolate and nuts. Place in greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool in pan for 25 minutes and cool completely.

Frosting: Beat cream cheese until lightly and fluffy. Beat in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Stir in nuts and coconut. Frost the cooled cake.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

German Chocolate Cake

  • 4 oz German sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg yolks, vanilla, and chocolate. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Fold in egg whites. Pour into three 9" pans, lined on bottom with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Frost tops with Coconut pecan frosting, leaving sides unfrosted.

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except coconut and pecans in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 12 minutes. When mixture thickens, remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool until spreadable.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 9 -inch pastry shell (graham cracker crust are best)
  • Meringue

In sauce pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Gradually add hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks, then return to hot mixture. Bring back to boiling and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add butter and lemon peel. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into pastry shell. Spread meringue over filling and seal the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until a soft peak forms. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy peaks have formed and all sugar is dissolved.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation time: 1 hour

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