"Great Old Fashioned American Desserts" offers a diversity of desserts that span the various periods and regions of American cooking. Some dishes are accompanied by chatty notes, explaining, for example, that waffles were introduced by the Dutch in the 1800s. But these are mere embellishments, and the business side of this book is the generous assortment of enticing, lucid recipes meant to be used by modern-day bakers. Creole sweet-potato and old Arkansas vinegar pies are examples of "America's favorite dessert." The chocolate Kentucky bourbon-pecan cake and "Lazy-Daisy" cake (first baked, then topped with a brown sugar-and-butter topping) are among the more unusual cake contributions.