(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) Named for the earthy, exotic fungi they resemble, chocolate truffles require no hunting, digging or specially trained dogs and they won’t break the budget either. Real white truffles from Italy can set back the pocketbook more than $1000 for just one pound. Of course, chocolate truffles are a visual imitation only; they are sweet, addictive, and a great way to turn some organic chocolate, cream and butter into a decadent treat.
These ultra creamy truffles are made in the tradition of the Swiss style of chocolate truffle using heavy cream and butter to create what is called a ganache – a lovely French word for a mixture of chocolate and cream. According to Monique Hooker, Organic Valley’s French-born Chef, “using the best quality, organic cream and butter makes a difference.”
This recipe is so easy that kids can help and it is open to many variations. One option is to infuse the cream with some rich, floral Organic Madagascar vanilla extract, or split a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream as it simmers. Or, try using white chocolate, and roll the balls in finely minced sweetened coconut. For decoration, top each truffle with a small piece of roasted nut such as pistachio or pecan, a tiny candy, or if serving immediately, add one perfect raspberry to each truffle. Serve for parties, birthdays, or any occasion that needs a little chocolate.
For more dessert recipes using organic cream and butter, visit www.organicvalley.coop.
Easy Decadent Chocolate Truffles
Makes 25 truffles
- 1/2 cup Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz best quality semisweet chocolate (preferably Fair Trade and Organic) chopped into small pieces, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons Organic Valley unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cream gently to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Stir mixture just until the chocolate has completely melted, using very low heat if necessary. Remove from heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours or overnight.
- Line a cookie sheet or platter with baking parchment or waxed paper. Dip a teaspoon or small scoop such as a melon baller into warm water and scrape across the surface of the truffle mixture to form a 1-inch ball. Quickly roll balls in cocoa powder. Repeat with the remaining truffle mixture. Cover and refrigerate truffles. Serve in paper candy cups which are available in cookware shops or where cake decorating items are sold.
Variations: For a variety of truffles, roll balls in finely chopped nuts, finely minced sweetened coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar or powdered sugar.
Tips: Truffles make a wonderful gift. Nothing says “I Love You” better than chocolate. Wrap a selection of truffles on a small red paper plate with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Source: Organic Valley
(Family Features) Planning ahead for family meals around the holidays can be a headache-inducing practice, but putting to work recipes that everyone can enjoy makes it a much more enjoyable process. By planning out an evening’s worth of courses, you can take care of hungry pre-dinner guests, knock a main dish out of the park and cap off everyone’s night with a spectacular dessert.
These recipes for Culinary Education Center House Fondue, Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce, and Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake will help keep everybody satisfied throughout the party, from start to finish. Find more holiday recipes at culinary.net.
Fruit and Fowl for Family
Make your meal delightfully tasty with simple-to-create Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce. This quick, easy recipe pairs succulent chicken with sweet Texas grapefruit juice, which provides a light flavor enhancement and a fat-free source of beneficial components such as vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene. Find more recipes that take advantage of grapefruit’s quality and taste at Texasweet.com.
Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup shallots
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup fresh Texas Rio Star Grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon minced mint, divided
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 4 mint leaves
- Salt and pepper chicken.
- In large skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until both sides are browned well, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil.
- Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to pan. Add shallots and crushed red pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- In small bowl, whisk together broth, grapefruit juice, half the minced mint and flour. Add to skillet. Cook, whisking until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Return chicken to skillet with juices; reduce heat to low. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Serve chicken with sauce spooned over. Use remaining minced mint and mint leaves to garnish.
Melted and Amazing
From the presentation to the pairings, it’s easy to make an ordinary spread extraordinary this holiday season. Cheese is a good starting place for properly pairing food and wine to make flavors more vibrant. Take this year’s event to the next level with this Culinary Education Center House Fondue to bring the wow-factor to your gathering by combining three melted cheeses with light wine for an enjoyable appetizer. To find more ways to incorporate cheese into your holiday entertaining, visit rothcheese.com.
Culinary Education Center House Fondue
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 3/4 pound Grand Cru Original, shredded
- 3/4 pound Grand Cru Reserve, shredded
- 1/2 pound Roth Fontina, shredded
- 16 ounces Pinot Grigio or other light- to medium-bodied white wine
- 1 loaf crusty artisan bread
- fresh apples, grapes and pears
- black and white pepper (optional)
- nutmeg (optional)
- In ceramic fondue pot, combine cheeses and wine; stir to combine. Allow mixture to soak 15-30 minutes.
- Heat mixture over low heat, approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil. When cheese has melted completely, remove from heat and transfer to tabletop burner.
- Serve fondue with chunks of bread and fruit. If desired, provide pepper and/or nutmeg guests can sprinkle onto a plate and use for dipping bread and cheese. Pair with chilled dry Riesling and a shot of authentic Swiss kirschwasser.
A Chocolatey Finishing Touch
There’s no better way to round out a holiday party than with a delicious dessert, especially one packed with everyone’s favorite ingredient – chocolate. This candy-coated Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake can put the finishing touch on your holiday celebration. Find more scrumptious dessert recipes at nestle.com.
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake
- 3/4 cup Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa, plus extra for coating pans
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee or water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups superfine sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2-3 containers (16 ounces each) prepared chocolate frosting, or about 3 3/4-5 1/2 cups homemade
- 1-2 Nestlé Crunch Candy Bars, finely chopped
- 24-36 pieces Nestlé Butterfinger Bites Candy, finely chopped
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Grease bottoms of three 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans; line with parchment or wax paper circle. Grease parchment then coat lightly with small amount of cocoa, tapping out excess.
- In large bowl, sift together flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, coffee and vanilla extract.
- In large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; beat again. Alternately add flour mixture in three additions with buttermilk mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl; beat again. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert each layer onto wire rack; remove parchment paper then invert right-side-up. Cool completely.
- To assemble, level cakes (trim tops off), if desired, using serrated knife. Place dollop of frosting in center of cake pedestal or serving platter. Tear four strips of parchment paper and place in square around outer 3 inches of pedestal.
- Place one cake layer over dollop of frosting. Spread about 1 cup frosting over top; sprinkle top evenly with about 1/4 cup chopped candy bar. Top with another cake layer; spread with about 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar. Top with third cake layer. Cover top and sides with thin layer of frosting.
- Refrigerate 15 minutes then cover with remaining frosting. With hands, press chopped candy pieces around sides of cake. After frosting has set, gently remove strips of parchment paper.
- Cut cake into slices to serve.
Source: Texas Sweet, Roth Cheese, Nestle