Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Soft Apple Cider Caramels


2 quarts apple cider

3 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

4 cups sugar

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of ground allspice

Pinch of ground cloves

Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, for brushing


1) In a large saucepan, simmer the apple cider over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 1 hour.  Pour the reduced cider into a bowl.

2) Line a 9”x13” rimmed pan with foil and coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray (or butter). In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and condensed milk and bring to a simmer over moderate heat; keep the mixture warm over low heat.

3) In another large saucepan, combine the sugar with the reduced apple cider, corn syrup, water and salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Carefully whisk in the butter until melted.  Gradually whisk in the warm cream mixture until incorporated.  Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a golden caramel ring forms and the temperature reaches 245° on a candy thermometer, about 45 minutes.  Stir in the cinnamon, allspice and cloves and scrape the caramel into the prepared pan.  Let cool completely, then refrigerate the caramel overnight.

4) Lightly brush a sheet of parchment paper with oil, invert the caramel onto the parchment and peel off the foil.  Using a sharp knife, cut the caramel into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut the block crosswise into 1/2-inch rectangles.  Wrap each caramel in a square of parchment paper or a candy wrapper and twist the ends to seal.  Serve or pack the caramels into boxes.

MAKE AHEAD:  The wrapped caramels can be stored in a cool spot or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.  The uncut caramel can be tightly wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; cut just before serving.

***These chewy treats are like caramel apples in candy form, combining the tangy-sweet flavor of cider with buttery caramel.  To create your own spin on them, use a flavored apple cider or add different spices, like ground ginger or black pepper.


From Food & Wine, December 2012 issue

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Apple Crisp Crescents


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup cold butter

1 egg, separated

2/3 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped peeled tart apple (McIntosh work well!)

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins, chopped (optional) (I’ve used dried sweet cherries as a substitute)

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, combine four and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla; add to crumb mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Divide dough into thirds.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 10-inch circle.  Combine the apple, walnuts, raisins, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle 1/2 cup over each circle.  Cut each circle into 12 wedges.

Roll up each wedge from the wide end and place point side down 1” apart on greased baking sheets (tip: use a baking sheet with sides; the butter melts profusely!).  Curve each to form crescents.  Whisk egg white until foamy; brush over crescents.

Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Store in airtight containers.

From Taste of Home Christmas

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For this recipe, you’ll need four ramekins in place of a larger baking dish.


For the fruit base:

Butter, for the ramekins

1/4 C sugar

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

3 large pears (about 2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 1” chunks

1/4 C finely chopped crystallized ginger

For the cobbles (topping):

1/2 C all-purpose flour

1/4 C masa harina

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 cubes

2 Tbsp heavy cream



Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease 4 (2-cup) ramekins with butter, and set aside.

First, make the fruit filling: in a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, flour and cardamom to blend.  Add the pears and ginger, and stir until all the ingredients are combined.  Divide the fruit mixture between the four ramekins (you can also use one 8” baking pan).

Next, make the crust: Whisk the flour, masa harina, baking powder, sugar, cardamom, and salt together in the same bowl.  Add the butter, and, using yoru hands or a pastry cutter, break it up into pea-sized pieces.  Add the cream, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or a fork, until it forms a loose dough.

Using your hands, break walnut-sized chunks of dough off and scatter them on top of the fruit—the dough will look jagged and won’t completely cover the fruit.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, then serve warm, with yogurt or ice cream.

From Edible Seattle, the October 2011 edition.

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Roman Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine in mixing bowl:

  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat in:

  • 2/3 C shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • 3 C raw apples, pared and chopped

Mix well.  Pour into greased and floured 9×13” pan.

Cover with topping.

Bake for 35-40 minutes


Crumble together:

  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts or coconut (optional)
  • 1/4 C rolled oats

Recipe from More-with-Less Cookbook, by Doris Janzen Longacre

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Lois’ Cherry Pudding


1/2 C sugar

1 Tbsp butter

1 egg—beaten

1 C sifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 C pitted sweet cherries (can sub tart cherries, too, but bump up the sugar to 1 C); frozen or fresh work well

1/2 C chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

This recipe is from my (Stacy’s) great-great grandmother’s recipe box.  I’m not sure who Lois is, but my great-great grandmother enjoyed the recipe enough to get it from her!  :)

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  • 1lb butternut squash
  • butter
  • 2 tsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling (can drizzle honey instead of sprinkling sugar)
  • 8oz puff pastry
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • high-quality apricot preserves (8oz)
  • 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Halve on 1-pound butternut squash neck lengthwise; slice crosswise ¼” thick.  Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Roast for 45 minutes, turning once.  Roll out 8 oz puff pastry to a 14×6” rectangle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet; prick the pastry.  Top with parchment and another baking sheet.  Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 10minutes longer.  Once cool, spread with 4 oz cream cheese mixed with a pinch of cinnamon and 2tsp sugar.  Top with squash slices, melted apricot preserves and chopped pecans.

Butternut Squash Recipes – from Food and Wine November 2012, Grace Parisi


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Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

1 C cider

4 Tbsp. butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 egg

2 C flour

1 C sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

4 C oli for frying

  1. In a small saucepan, boil the cider until reduced to 2/3 C (about 6-8 minutes). Add the butter and stir until melted; remove from the heat and let cool. Whisk in the egg.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 6 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder, ½ tsp. cinnamon and the salt. Stir in the cider mixture until just blended.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 10 Tbsp. sugar and 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 340°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  5. When the oil is hot, drop 5-6 tablespoon size scoops of dough into the oil. Fry, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer the doughnut holes to the baking sheet and let cool. Toss with remaining cinnamon sugar.

RachelRayMag.com; Everyday with Rachel Ray, October 2013 edition

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