(Family Features) Crisp fall days call for flavorful desserts that warm you from the inside out. There’s no better way to capture the flavor of fall than with dishes that celebrate traditional seasonal favorites like cinnamon, spice and tart, juicy apples.
These desserts are perfect for fall, and a secret ingredient makes them quick and easy so you have plenty of free time to work up an appetite and earn an extra bite (or two). Apple butter is more than just a spread for toast; it’s a versatile ingredient that can enhance your favorite recipes. With Musselman’s Apple Butter, made the old-fashioned way for perfect texture and a deep, rich flavor, you can make it simple to satisfy your craving for a taste of autumn at its best.
Find more fall tips and recipes perfect for sharing with your family at musselmans.com.
Caramel Crumble Bars
- 1 box (15 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix, dry
- 1/2 cup butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 3/4 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter, plus 3 tablespoons
- 1 egg
- 1 package (11 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
- 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
- With electric mixer on low speed, beat dry cake mix and 1/2 cup softened butter until mixture is crumbly. Spoon 1 cup cake mix mixture into medium bowl; set aside.
- Add 3/4 cup apple butter and egg to remaining mixture. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Spread evenly into pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until starting to brown and top is set.
- Place caramels, 2 tablespoons butter and remaining apple butter in microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and melted.
- Pour caramel mixture evenly over partially baked crust. If caramel has cooled and set, microwave 1 minute until soft and pourable.
- Combine walnuts, coconut and 2 tablespoons melted butter with reserved cake mix mixture. Mix until crumbly.
- Break up topping and sprinkle evenly over caramel.
- Bake 16-18 minutes, or until topping is starting to brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Easy Apple Pie Bars
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 7 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 frozen pie crusts, defrosted
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place diced apples in large mixing bowl. Add apple butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and brown sugar. Mix until apples are evenly coated.
- Place one pie crust in bottom of greased pan. Slowly stretch out crust to cover pan’s bottom. Cut some edges off, if necessary. Spread apple filling evenly over crust.
- With rolling pin, roll second crust to make it same size as pan. Place second crust on top of apple pie filling and tuck down edges to cover.
- To make topping: In small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy and brush over crust. In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over crust.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting.
- To make glaze: In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and remaining vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled bars and serve.
Source: Musselman’s Apple Butter
(Family Features) No matter the occasion, every celebration is better with snacks. Whether you’re hosting game day with the guys, catching up with girlfriends, gathering for family movie night or inviting your kids’ friends over for a grade school sleepover, you can’t go wrong with popcorn treats.
Popcorn is the perfect partner for a broad span of flavors, especially when they’re sweet or salty – or both. You can make each mouthwatering bite pop even more by adding texture with crunchy nuts or silky melted chocolate.
Even if you simply serve plain popcorn to your guests, you can feel good about serving healthy, whole grain, freshly popped popcorn, which is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free.
Find more ways to pop up more fun for your next party at popcorn.org.
Caramel-Nut Popcorn Crunch
Yield: 20 pieces
- 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 2 cups whole almonds
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Heat oven to 225° F. Spray 15-by-10-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- In large bowl, mix popcorn and almonds.
- In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Over low heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, almond extract and baking soda.
- Pour over popcorn and almonds, immediately stirring gently to coat. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly.
- Bake 1 hour. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Maple Bacon Popcorn Mix
Yield: 2 quarts
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, divided
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 2/3 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Line jelly roll pan with foil. Place wire rack in pan. Arrange bacon in single layer on rack. Bake 15 minutes, or until ends of bacon start to curl. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Brush bacon with 2 tablespoons maple syrup; bake 15 minutes until browned. Cool then coarsely chop bacon.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn, pecans and cranberries.
- Combine butter, black pepper, maple extract, remaining maple syrup and reserved bacon drippings. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Drizzle over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Spread popcorn mixture in jelly roll or roasting pan. Bake 5 minutes. Toss in bacon pieces. Serve warm.
Yield: 2 quarts
- 2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In microwave safe bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Microwave 2 minutes; stir until smooth.
- Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir until well coated. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over popcorn and stir until coated.
- Cool to room temperature before serving. Store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 24 hours.
English Toffee Popcorn Bars
Yield: 20 bars
- 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
- 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) chocolate pieces
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- Heat oven to 200° F.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn, peanuts and toasted coconut. Cover bottom of buttered 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jelly roll pan with half of the popcorn mixture. Keep filled pan and remaining popcorn mixture warm in oven.
- To make toffee: In heavy 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and blend well.
Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches full boil. Add water and corn syrup; mix well.
- Wash down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar granules.
- Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches soft-crack stage on candy thermometer (280° F). Immediately pour mixture over warm popcorn in jelly-roll pan, making certain all popcorn is covered. Quickly spread and press remaining popcorn mixture into hot toffee. Set aside to cool.
For topping, melt chocolate and shortening over low heat. Spread over popcorn mixture, making certain any loose pieces are held in place.
- Cool. Cut into bars. If bars will not be served immediately, wrap in plastic wrap for storage.
Source: The Popcorn Board
Add a delicious twist to entertaining
(Family Features) The holidays are the ultimate time for connecting with friends and family, so treat them to something special this year with your own mouthwatering take on a holiday feast. Add a new and delicious twist to entertaining this season with a festive bacon bar.
Mix things up with simple decorating tips and these easy-to-make – and even easier to eat – bacon recipes from Smithfield that can help create the perfect setting for your next holiday gathering. Whether drizzled with caramel and sea salt, twisted with puff pastry or baked with bourbon and maple syrup, your guests can enjoy bacon in a variety of ways. The classic cut and versatility of Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon is ideal for dishes you can include in your bacon bar like bacon cheddar biscuits, savory bacon jam and flavorful bacon salt. You can also incorporate different bacon flavors; with more than 10 different Smithfield varieties to choose from, there truly is something for everyone.
Complete your holiday spread with printed labels that festively identify the variety of bacon flavors, unique recipes and side dishes on display. Simply print templates onto thick card stock and cut to your desired shape. Use twine or holiday ribbon to tie the labels onto mason jars, bowls or baskets, or use a small clothespin to clip the labels onto your bacon creations. Garnish your display with garland, red berries and pine cones for added holiday cheer.
Visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for printable labels, more decor ideas and recipe inspiration to give your own bacon bar a personal touch.
Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves
Cook time: 45 minutes
- Nonstick spray
- flour, for dusting
- 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup (12 ounces) apricot preserves
- 2 cups (about 7 ounces) Gouda cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 pounds (about 25-30 slices) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two rimmed baking pans with foil, set baking racks in pans and lightly spray racks with nonstick spray.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet to roughly 8-by-12 inches. Brush top with egg and thinly spread 1/2 cup preserves over dough. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon rosemary, lightly pressing cheese mixture into dough. Fold short end of dough over to enclose cheese mixture and lightly roll to seal. Cut into 15 1/2-inch strips. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
- Lay one slice bacon diagonally. Grab one strip of prepared dough by ends and place one end of dough strip horizontally at top end of bacon and roll bacon with dough downward, stretching dough strip while rolling. Place spiral-wrapped bacon twist on prepared rack and repeat.
- Bake twists 35-45 minutes, or until pastry is browned and bacon crisp, rotating pans as needed for even cooking.
- Let cool 5 minutes and gently use spatula to remove twists from racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: For a different flavor, try smoked or aged Gouda or fresh thyme instead of rosemary.
Caramelized Bourbon Bacon
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
Place pans in oven and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking time. Meanwhile, combine honey, bourbon and syrup.
- Remove bacon from oven. Carefully drain grease from pans. Brush bacon with bourbon mixture. Return to oven and bake 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
Sea Salt Caramel Bacon
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 2 packages (12 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- 4 tablespoons caramel topping
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with nonstick foil.
- Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
- Place pans in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, place bacon slices on clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool slightly.
- Heat caramel in microwave 10 seconds. Drizzle bacon with caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup cooked Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, diced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon and extra for rolling, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- In small bowl, toss together cheese, green onions and bacon with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Use pastry cutter or two forks to cut in butter.
- Add milk and stir just enough to bring ingredients together. Gently fold in cheese mixture.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 1 minute. Pat or roll out dough to 1/2- or 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
- Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- 1-1/2 cups Nabisco Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 cup coarsely chopped Planters Pecans, divided
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 bag (14 ounces) Kraft Caramels, divided
- 2 tablespoons water, divided
- Mix crumbs, 1/2 cup pecans, granulated sugar and butter. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil; press crumbs firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake at 350¿F for 10 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.
- Place 36 caramels and 1 tablespoon water in microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Add to cream cheese batter; stir until well blended. Pour over crust.
- Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until center is almost set.
- Sprinkle cheesecake with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
- Place remaining caramels and 1 tablespoon water in microwavable bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Drizzle over cheesecake. Cut into 32 pieces.
15 minutes plus refrigeration
Makes 32 servings