Northwest NEWS

October 8, 2001

Home & Garden

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Dining In: Falling for great desserts

Apple Crisps
   Canola oil cooking spray
   4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thin slices or bite-size pieces
   1/2 c. raisins
   3 Tbsp. apple juice
   1/4 c. whole-wheat flour
   1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
   1/4 c. brown sugar
   3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
   3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
   3/4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Combine apples, raisins and apple juice in bowl; toss well and set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. With pastry blender or knife and fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
   Transfer apple mixture to baking dish. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over surface. Lightly coat top with cooking spray.
   Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and let stand on wire rack at least 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Crunchy Clusters
   1 (12 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
   1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
   1 (3 oz.) can chow mein noodles or 2 c. pretzel sticks, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
   1 c. dry roasted peanuts, or whole roasted almonds
   Line baking sheet with waxed paper. In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat.
   In large bowl, combine noodles and peanuts; stir in chocolate mixture.
   Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet; chill 2 hours or until firm. Store loosely covered at room temperature
   Microwave Directions: In 2-quart glass measure, combine chips and sweetened condensed milk. Cook on 100% power (HIGH) 3 minutes, stirring after 1-1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Proceed as directed above.
   Makes about 3 dozen.
  
   Peanut Magic Cookie Bars
   1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine
   42 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 c. crumbs)
   1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
   1 (12 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chunks (2 c.)
   1-1/3 c. flaked coconut
   1 c. chopped peanuts
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass dish). Melt butter in 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan in oven.
   Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top with chocolate chunks, coconut and peanuts, pressing down firmly with fork.
   Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely; refrigerate if desired. Cut into 24 bars. Store at room temperature.
   Makes 24 servings.
  
   Creamy Banana Pudding
   1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
   1-1/2 c. cold water
   1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
   2 c. heavy cream, whipped, divided
   48 vanilla wafers, divided
   3 large bananas, sliced
   Additional wafers and banana slices
   Combine sweetened condensed milk and water in large bowl.
   Add pudding mix; beat for 2 minutes with mixer at medium speed. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Fold in 3 c. whipped cream.
   Place 3 wafers and a few banana slices in the bottom of 8 (12-ounce) dessert dishes. Spoon 1/2 c. pudding into each dish.
   Top with remaining wafers, banana slices and pudding. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
   Garnish with remaining whipped cream, additional wafers and bananas.
  
   Tiramisu
   2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
   3/4 c. powdered sugar
   1/2 c. strong black coffee, divided
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
   48 vanilla wafers, divided
   Cocoa powder, additional wafers and chocolate covered coffee beans for garnish
   Beat cream cheese, sugar, 1/4 c. coffee and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Stir in 3-1/2 c. whipped topping.
   Place 24 wafers in circular fashion on bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Brush or drizzle with coffee.
   Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture over wafers in pan; repeat layers, brushing wafers with remaining coffee and ending with cream cheese mixture.
   Cover; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with cocoa powder, remaining whipped topping, additional wafers and coffee beans.
   Makes 12 servings.