07 March 2013

Treasured Recipes From The Charleston Cake Lady

It has been so dark and drear around here that we have tried to brighten up things by baking... OK by reading about baking.  Baby steps.

We pulled off the shelf our copy of Treasured Recipes From The Charleston Cake Lady.  It would seem that in the mid 1980's, Teresa Pregnall began baking and selling cakes from her kitchen.  20,000 cakes later she published a cookbook filled with cakes and other goodies.  We should have been terribly inspired but 20,000 cakes! We were just exhausted. 

There are pound cakes and chocolate cakes and spice cakes.  We were a bit surprised that the ubiquitous Red Velvet cake was no where to be found.  We moved on to brownies and finally settled on a popular Charleston treat, the Charleston Chew.  Pregnall points out that the editor quite innocently asked,"What exactly is a chew?"  It is one of those, "Where are you from?" kind of questions.  But an old Southern chew is basically a gooey cookie bar. 

Charleston Chews

4 large eggs
1 box (1 pound) dark brown sugar
2-1/2-cups self rising flour, sifted
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Sifted confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 13 x 9" pan.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla extract until
well blended. Fold in the nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden
brown on top. Sprinkle the chews with sifted confectioners' sugar. Cut into
squares when cool, and wait for the raves. 

Are we raving yet?  I must say, the sky looks a bit brighter...

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