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Country Cooking

December 6, 2012

by Dorothy Bloemendaal
Apple-Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice

2 eggs, beaten

l cup shredded peeled apple (1 medium)

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Topping:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons apple cider or apple juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios.

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour bottom only of 8x4-inch loaf pan. In large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in oil, 1/3 cup cider and eggs until smooth. Stir in apple, cranberries and 1/3 cup pistachios. Spoon and spread in pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely, about l hour 30 minutes.

Mix powdered sugar and enough of the cider for desired glaze. Spread over top of bread. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons pistachios.

Peppermint Candy Tarts

Tart shells:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

l egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling and Garnish:

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 to 3 drops red food color

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint candies (about 18 candies)

Heat oven to 350. Grease bottoms only of 32 mini-muffin cups. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter until fluffy. Beat in peppermint extract and egg until blended. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda and salt.

Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Press each ball in bottom and up side of muffin cup. Bake 9 to 12 minutes until set and edges are light golden brown. Cool l minutes; remove from muffin cups to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

In small bowl, beat filling ingredients except crushed candies until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1/4 cup of the candies. Spoon or pipe l rounded measuring teaspoon filling into center of each tart shell. Sprinkle with remaining crushed candies. 32 tarts.

Fudgy Brownie Pie with Caramel Sauce

l unbaked 9 inch pie crust

l cup butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

l cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

l cup chopped pecans

Sauce:

l bag (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped

2/3 cup half-and-half

Melt butter over low heat in 2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla and eggs until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa and salt until smooth. Stir in chocolate chunks and pecans. Spread filling evenly in crust-lined pie pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until well blended. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool l hour.

In saucepan, heat sauce ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Serve hot caramel sauce over pieces of pie.


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