Applesauce Muffins

Posted on September 11, 2008. Filed under: Dessert, Muffins |

Applesauce Muffins

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground allspice, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups applesauce
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins, optional

In a bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, applesauce and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack.

Source: Denahowy at Family Corner

NOTE: I am considering subbing in walnuts for the raisins, and adding some chopped apple as well.

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Magic Dough

Posted on September 3, 2008. Filed under: Cookies, Dessert |

Magic Dough:

1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend magic dough with electric mixer til crumbly and starting to hold together. Then choose one of the following forms:


For Bars:

Press 2/3 of Magic Dough firmly into a greased 8″x 8″ square pan. Top with 1 10-oz jar of the filling of your choice: lemon curd, raspberry jam, blueberry jam, nutella, or 1 cup chocolate chips. (Don’t spread to edge of pan or filling will burn–leave 1/4″ boundary around perimeter). Crumble remaining dough over top. Bake approximately 40 minutes until crumb topping is beginning to brown. Cool completely and cut into squares.

For Tart:

Press 2/3 Magic Dough firmly into pie plate. Fill as desired with either chocolate chips, lemon curd, nutella, jam, or fresh fruit. Crumble remaining dough over top. Bake approximately 40 minutes til crumb topping is beginning to brown. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut in wedges, with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. (see previous post “Simply Graceful Dinner Parties” for M’s fail-safe method for whipping cream.)

For Cobbler:

Peel and chop enough of your favorite fruit to make about 6 cups: peaches, blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples or any combination thereof. Place in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish (13″ x 9″). Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Crumble all of the Magic Dough over fruit. Bake 40-50 minutes (or more) til topping is beginning to brown. Crust may sink a bit into fruit and blend with juice–this is fine–it will still be delicious. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

For Cookies:

Dump the dough onto a generous sheet of wax paper. Roll it into a log (about 2-3 inches in diameter) and refrigerate for 1 hour til firm. You can freeze this dough and slice off a few disks at a time when you are craving homemade cookies or need a quick and easy sweet to serve. Or, you can go ahead and cook the whole batch. Slice cookies off into disks and bake on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet til edges begin to brown, about 9 minutes. These are great plain, but fabulous with the following variations:

Before baking, sprinkle cookies with jimmies or colored sugars–use red for Christmas, pastels for Easter, rainbow sprinkles for OUTFEST, etc.

Spread a cooled cookie with jam and top with another cookie making a lovely little sandwich. Alternative fillings: nutella, dulce de leche caramel, lemon curd.

Is there anything that isn’t improved with a drizzle of dark chocolate?:

Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in microwave on 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir til smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies in swirls and zigzags. Cool til chocolate hardens. Gorgeous and yummy.


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Caramel Sauce

Posted on September 3, 2008. Filed under: Dessert |

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix sugar and water in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat for about 15 minutes, til sugar melts and entire mixture browns. Remove from heat, add cream. Sauce will bubble up. Stir constantly til smooth. Add butter and salt. Cool slightly, pour into jars and refrigerate. This only keeps for a couple of days, so don’t make an enormous batch for distribution 3 weeks in advance–advise recipients to heat it gently and stir before serving.


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Chocolate Sauce

Posted on September 3, 2008. Filed under: Dessert |

1 bag Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Chips
1 cup milk
1/4 cup dry, unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix milk and cocoa powder in small saucepan, heat til bubbles form around rim of pan. Meanwhile, pour chips into medium sized, heatproof bowl. Pour heated milk mixture over chips and stir til smooth. This keeps in the fridge for 10 days or frozen for several months. It’s great as fondue or atop ice cream–heated in microwave on 50% power or on stove at low heat. A tablespoon or 2 can be mixed with hot milk for a particularly indulgent cup of hot chocolate.


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    My collection of recipes that I haven’t yet tried! I’m buried under paper here….


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