Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet Endings

For our Southern-style book club discussion of Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth Jones, we enjoyed a selection of pound cakes served with drizzles of white chocolate, fresh berries and whipped cream. And guests received a sweet surprise: Denise called in to chat with us during our book discussion! Talking to the author was a highlight of the evening.

We set up a round table in the center of the room for our desserts, and Teri Phillips prepared this lovely arrangement of fresh daisies.

I asked the other hostesses before the party if they thought we should eat a slice of each variety -- just to be gracious, of course! And really, how could you choose just one when offered these delicious options: lemon, chocolate and traditional pound cake?

Lemon Pound Cake

Nancy Itson brought this cake, which she topped with fresh blackberries from her yard.


1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
8 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
Cream butter, gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs; one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, mixing well. Stir in lemon juice and extract. Pour batter into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan.


¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon peel (optional)
Beat the sour cream and butter until well blended. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Beat in lemon juice & peel. Drizzle over cake.

Chocolate Pound Cake
Teri Phillips brought this cake Friday morning when we met at the church building to decorate for book club, and I wasn't sure it would make it to the meeting.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco
¼ pound butter (1 stick)
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ¼ cups milk
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour Bundt or tube pan. Beat shortening and butter till blended. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Beat in vanilla. Sift flour with the rest of the ingredients and add in thirds, alternating with thirds of milk. Pour in pan and bake for 1 ½ hours. Note: Can top with glaze or powdered sugar. Will have excess batter, so you can fill 6 cupcakes and bake.

Pound Cake
Kay Hilyer's pound cake is well known among family and friends.

1 cup Crisco
2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Crisco, butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding flour and milk. Add flavorings. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

During our book club discussion, we talked about living in the South, the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, and lost dreams. If you would like to reflect on any of those topics or share your thoughts about the book, feel free to discuss in the comments section.

Tomorrow I will reveal our new book club selection, so stop by to discover a great summer read!

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