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4 classic Southern dessert recipes get deliciously modern makeovers

Enjoy modern Southern sweet treats, including cakes, cookies and homemade ice cream.
One taste, and you'll be over the moon for Millers All Day's Moon Cake.
One taste, and you'll be over the moon for Millers All Day's Moon Cake. Millers All Day
/ Source: TODAY

Is there anything that beats a good old-fashioned Southern dinner? Perhaps a sweet Southern dessert.

The South is famous for decadent pies, cool cakes and plenty of unique treats. For those who don't live in the South, however, it can be hard to concoct something that hits all the right notes after a savory meal.

Charleston, South Carolina's food scene is booming with plenty of chefs and bakers who are experimenting with the classics — bringing new flavors to old favorites. At Charleston Wine + Food this month, many of the town's best chefs will be flexing their culinary muscles at a variety of events.

We've rounded up a selection of participating chefs' most unique desserts that make a perfect ending (or beginning!) to a meal.

We love fried chicken just as much as the next guy, but these Not Fried Chicken Ice Cream Bars from Cynthia Wong of Life Raft Treats aren't actually fried chicken at all. They are delicious, however, and they're surprisingly sweet, not savory. These adorable frozen treats make the perfect party-pleasing dessert display for kids and adults.

Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Cookies

Cameron Neal and Greer Gilchrist

Southern recipes might be known for their prolific use of butter but these decadent chocolate cookies are actually dairy free! Instead, they get their gorgeous texture from a surprising ingredient (hint: think veggies!). In addition to sweet cherries, these cookies get a bit of heat from chipotle powder.

Millers All Day Moon Cake

When you're in the mood for a decadent dessert that's out of this world, DaVee Harned's Moon Cake from Millers All Day in Charleston, South Carolina will definitely hit the spot. Southern-style cakes are known for their moist, decadent layers ... and this confection has four! But the marshmallow meringue keeps this cake surprisingly light.

Grasshopper Dessert Cocktail

The Grasshopper Dessert Cocktail is Leon's Oyster Shop's take on a true classic. Instead of a creamy cocktail, however, the restaurant's version is a totally decadent milkshake ... with a little something extra, of course. If you can't choose between dessert and an after-dinner drink, indulge in this!