New Castle News

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October 6, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Autumn means time for apple treats

NEW CASTLE — There was a time when I didn’t think a meal was complete if it didn’t include desserts.

These days, I’m a little more discerning. But I still like having something sweet after dinner. Those 100-calorie ice cream bars satisfy my cravings and the best part is they have minimal fat.

Occasionally, I’ll indulge in slice of cheesecake, a serving of tiramisu and my all-time favorite — two-layer chocolate cake with a double batch of chocolate butter cream frosting. However, I reserve those for special days.

Right now, it’s apple time. What a versatile fruit. Apple pie is still one of the most popular desserts of all time. But there are so many options when you have a surplus of apples.

As if she knew about my cravings for apple desserts, a reader who has supplied recipes for this column in the past once again came through with more, including caramel apple cheesecake bars and apple dumplings.

Her instructions were amusing.

“Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top. Then go to confession. Quickly.”

There were also recipes for something called funeral pie described as a classic Amish dish that is rich and moist, and earthquake cake mix cake. Of the latter, the reader referred to it as “a slice of heaven made in minutes.”

Sharing is part of Culinary Conversation. We would love to hear from you — whether it’s desserts, a main dish, appetizer or your favorite Christmas cookie.

Be sure to enjoy the bounty of the apple season. And make time to enjoy the sweetness of life.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Crust:                                                           

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsps., divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract

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