Long-time readers of my blog and column will remember reading about my Grandmother Clara. She was an amazing woman who had many talents. After she passed away in 2007, I was blessed to receive her recipes that she kept in a large holiday tin.
The recipes include a variety of salads, casseroles and desserts. Recently, I spent several enjoyable hours taking a stroll down memory lane reading recipes from years ago.
I love that these two cake recipes were my grandmother’s; the carrot cake was baked in the pan that belonged to my mother; the cream cheese mint recipe is one I’ve used for over 35 years, and they are plated on a pink Depression-era serving tray that was my grandmother’s.
I know that’s a doozy of a run-on sentence, but it’s important to me to share this column’s family history with you.
When you make the mints, remember to wear gloves when rolling them, or else your hands will be tinted by the food coloring. Don’t ask me how I know this. Also, remember to recap the food coloring before you being rolling the mints. Again, don’t ask me how I know this.
I hope you enjoy these spring desserts!
CARROT POUND CAKE
Unlike most carrot cakes baked in layers and with a cream cheese frosting, this showstopper cake is a cousin to a classic pound cake.
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups self-rising flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cups chopped pecans OR walnuts
2 cups grated raw carrots
1 cup shredded coconut
Pour oil into a mixing bowl. Sift together flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon and mix into oil alternately with eggs, mixing well after each addition using medium speed. Add nuts, carrots and coconut, and blend well. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan and bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
PINEAPPLE DELIGHT CAKE
As the irreplaceable Prudence Hilburn once wrote in her column, “… You can make a good cake using a mix. All you need to do is add a little creativity, and you have a great dessert with little effort.” This recipe of my grandmother’s used instant pineapple pudding mix. After searching high and low, that product was not to be found. I substituted vanilla instant pudding mix with delicious results.
1 deluxe pineapple supreme cake mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients in a large bowl and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 33 to 36 minutes, or until done. Cool right side up in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and drizzle with the following glaze.
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup undrained crushed pineapple
Blend the sugar and crushed pineapple in a bowl. Spoon over the cake while it is still warm.
CREAM CHEESE MINTS
As I said above, I’ve made these delicious mints many times through the years. You can tint them any color you like for holidays, bridal, or baby showers. This recipe makes about 8 dozen mints.
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/4 cup soft butter
2 lbs. powdered sugar
Few drops of food coloring
1/2 teaspoon peppermint, mint or lemon extract
Combine cream cheese and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir over low heat until cheese is soft, butter is melted and the mixture is thoroughly blended. Add the powdered sugar and stir until well combined. Add your choice of food coloring and flavoring. If desired, you can divide the whole batch to make two or three color choices, adding the extract to taste. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a sheet of waxed paper. Press with a fork or stamp with a decorative cookie stamp to form a design on top. Let stand uncovered, about 4 hours or overnight, until the mints are firm and outside is dry, but inside is still creamy.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. She also is a Kansas City BBQ Society Certified Barbeque Judge. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and [email protected]