Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Baking With Savannah Belles

Written by Patti on December 2nd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

The state of Georgia has so much to love. We are the home to the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Braves, Jimmy Carter and Scarlett O’Hara.

Paula Deen, of course! Miss Deen, with her butter laden southern cuisine, pushed Georgia’s visibility over the top. Savannah to be exact. Georgia women are a different breed from the rest of the country (and world). We understand the power of a soft voice and a light touch. The intoxication of a signature fragrance and a will stronger than the surface of a diamond. Whether taking control in the boardroom or teaching a child how to tie his shoes, we know how we affect others. I would like to introduce y’all to a group of Savannah beauties that use their power for good. The ladies of the Savannah Inns. Their time tested recipes arrive just in time for Christmas.

The Belles of the Savannah Inns - Diane, Shannon, Jackie and Teresea

AZALEA INN & GARDENS – Teresa Jacobson

My Mom’s Coffee Cake ~ Traditionally only baked at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not sure how the tradition started, but it is so delicious and moist, I think I may have to break tradition!

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ pint sour cream (1 cup)

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, blending after each addition.

Grease a 10-inch tube pan and line bottom with wax paper. Turn half the batter into pan. Cream softened butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add nuts and toss to cake batter and top with remaining nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F 45 to 50 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.


Chocolate Sundae Cookies – What better way to show your love for your family and friends at Christmas than putting a Sundae Surprise in their stocking!

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup Maraschino cherry juice
2 Tablespoons milk
2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped cherries
bag of large marshmallows
Butter cream icing: powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 stick margarine
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt, set aside. With your mixer, mix brown sugar and shortening, blend in one egg. Beat well and then stir in 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Add Maraschino juice and milk. Then stir in the rest of dry ingredients and mix well. Now, blend in melted unsweetened chocolate (we sometimes use the kind that are already melted, or 6 Tbls of cocoa and 2 Tbls oil), chopped cherries and chopped walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. While they are baking cut large marshmallows in half. Place the cut side of the marshmallow down on hot cookies when they come out of the oven, so they will stick. Let them cool and then frost with your favorite Chocolate frosting, and put a nut on top.

Butter cream chocolate frosting: beat powdered sugar, cocoa, margarine, and milk well.


A holiday favorite at the Dresser Palmer House, my honorary ‘little sister’ shared this family recipe convincing me that dates and cranberries ARE yummy!

Caramel Cranberry Bars
1 cup fresh cranberries
2TBS sugar
2 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups regular oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
(1) 10 oz. pkg. chopped dates
1 cup butter (marg.) melted
3…/4 cup chopped pecans
(1) 12 oz. jar caramel sauce

Stir together cranberries & sugar – set aside
Combine 2 cups flour and next 4 ingredients. Stir in melted butter. Reserve 1 cup of this flour mixture. Press remaining mixture into lightly greased 13×9 pan.
Bake 350 for 15 Min.
Then sprinkle with dates, pecans & cranberry mixture. Stir together caramel sauce and remaining 1/3 cup flour; spoon over cranberries. Sprinkle top with reserved 1 cup flour mixture. Bake 350 for 20 minutes or until brown…mmmmmgood!!!!


Although I didn’t like fruit cake as a child, this Christmas tradition has been in our home for years. Now it’s a favorite of mine – the wonderful flavor and soft moist center will continue to be carried down at the Inn!

Fruit Cake Cookies

1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. water
1 Cup butter – room temperature
½ Cup sugar
3 Cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 eggs
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. pecans, chopped
1 lb. dates, chopped
½ lb. candied cherries (1/4 lb. each of red and green)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve baking soda in water and set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and beat well. Add soda water. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Stir in nuts and fruits. Drop by tsp. onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake till light brown, 12-15 minutes. Cookies should still be soft when done. Makes about 8 dozen.

SAVANNAHINNS.COM are: Circa 1856 Circa 1876 Circa 1885 Circa 1897

I can’t wait til my next visit to Savannah! Please save me a piece of dessert, Ladies!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Eric Bachmann – So Long Savannah


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. We would love to adopt you, Alex & Paul!

  2. Patti says:

    Hooray! I will see you in March!

  3. Can’t wait Patti!!!