Northwest NEWS

January 10, 2000

Home & Garden

Dining In: Brownies and bananas

Seattle Latte Brownies

Winning recipe in the "Baker's Chocolate Best One-Bowl Recipe Contest," by Lois Dowling of Tacoma

   6 squares unsweeted baking chocolate
   3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
   1/4 c. water
   1 Tbsp. instant coffee
   1 c. granulated sugar
   1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
   3 eggs
   1 tsp. vanilla
   1-1/4 c. flour
   1/2 c. crushed almonds
   1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. salt

   Heat oven to 350 (325 for glass baking dish). Microwave chocolate, butter, water, and instant coffee in large microwaveable bowl on High for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Beat in sugars with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Add flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt; beat until well blended. Spread on greased foil-lined 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool in pan. Cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 16 servings.

Bananas Foster Napoleons

   1 package (17-1/4 oz.) puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
   1 package (about 3-1/2 oz.) chocolate or vanilla instant pudding mix
   1 c. milk
   1/2 tsp. rum extract or 1 Tbsp. white rum
   1 c. sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping
   1/4 c. butter or margarine
   6 large bananas, cut in 1/4-inch thick diagonal slices (about 6 c.)
   1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/4 c. caramel topping, warmed

   Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into 3 strips along fold marks. Cut each strip into 2 rectangles. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire rack. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions using 1 c. milk and rum. Fold in whipped cream. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat butter. Add bananas, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook until sugar is melted, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Split pastries into 2 layers, making 24 layers in all. Set aside 8 top layers. Spread about 2 Tbsp. pudding mixture on each of 8 pastry layers. On each of remaining 8 layers spoon about 1/3 c. banana mixture. Top each pudding layer with a banana layer. Cover with a reserved top layer. Drizzle with caramel topping. Makes 8 napoleons. Makes 8 servings.

Festive Apple Tart

   1/2 c. apple juice or water
   3 large, tart baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
   1 18 oz. roll-refrigerated sugar cookie dough
   1/4 c. sugar
   1 tsp. ground ground cinnamon
   2 Tbsp. lemon juice
   Whipped cream

   In a large skillet, heat apple juice or water to boiling; add apples. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 3 minutes or until apples are tender. With slotted spoon, remove apple slices. Cool slightly. Press cookie dough into greased and floured 10-inch quiche dish or tart pan or 9-inch pie plate, pressing dough evenly onto the bottom and up the side of the dish. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Toss together apple slices, lemon juice, and cinnamon sugar mixture. Arrange apple slices on prepared crust. Bake in 375-degree oven, 30 to 40 minutes or until evenly browned and set. Cool slightly. Serve warm topped generously with whipped cream. Makes 8-10 servings.

Snow-on-the-Roof Pound Cake

   1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
   1/3 c. sugar
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   1/3 c. chopped red maraschino cherries
   1 prepared pound cake
   Chocolate syrup
   Whipped cream
   Additional whole maraschino cherries for garnish

   In bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in chopped cherries. Slice pound cake lengthwise into three slices. Spoon or brush a total of 4 Tbsp. chocolate syrup over bottom and middle layer. Place bottom cake layer on serving plate; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with middle layer; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cake layer. Cover; refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and whole cherries. Makes 8 to 10 servings.