Apple Dumpling Dessert

This dessert is essentially a chunk of apple wrapped with a strip of pie crust. What made me decide to copy it was the use of a can of Mountain Dew. This one might be interesting to try. I modified the recipe to use Pillsbury dough. The original is from the Schwan’s website.

IngredientsApple Dumpling Dessert

  • 1 Pillsbury pizza crust or roll of pie dough
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored & quartered
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tap cinnamon
  • 1 can (12oz) Mountain Dew® , soft drink


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Roll crust into a 12 to 14 inch circle.
  3. Cut crust, pizza style, into 16 equal triangles.
  4. Place apples on larger end of triangles and roll up.
  5. Arrange dumplings in 9×13-inch baking dish.
  6. Pour or brush butter evenly over dumplings and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  7. Pour soft drink over dumplings.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes.


  • Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • The Schwan’s recipe uses a pizza dough crust.

Time Required: 55 minutes

Servings: 16

The 25 Recipes of Christmas Are Coming!

Last year, I posted 25 Cookies of Christmas. I’ve always loved advent calendars, and the cookie recipes mailed out by the folks at Taste of Home and Food Network inspired me to create my own list. I wanted to continue the tradition this year, but knew that finding 25 more cookie recipes would be a challenge.

After polling some friends, I decided to focus on appetizers and snacks this year. Starting on December 1, I will post one snack or appetizer recipe a day. I’ve focused on appetizers that I could see the family actually eating. You will find no fancy nonsense like pate or caviar. You also will not find seafood, since I don’t like much other than the occasional fish and chips. There are mainly handheld savory snacks with pork or beef. There is lots of cheese, and there are a few dips.

I hope you find something that interests you in this year’s collection of appetizers, but if you were thinking you wanted something sweet instead, you can always try one of the 25 Cookie recipes:

  1. Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Preacher Cookies
  3. 7 Layer Cookies
  4. Ethel’s Sugar Cookies
  5. Blueberry Oat Bars
  6. Original Girl Scout Cookies
  7. No-Bake Candy Cups
  8. Orange Cookies
  9. Hidden Mint Cookies
  10. Chex Snack Bars
  11. Brownie Bon-Bons
  12. Glazed Nut Bars
  13. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
  14. Golden Oatmeal Bars
  15. Carrot Cake Cookies
  16. Triple Chocolate Brownies
  17. Butter Pecan Cookies
  18. German Chocolate Cookie Bars
  19. English Cookies
  20. Chocolate Chipped Brownies
  21. Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
  22. S’mores Snackin’ Cups
  23. Pineapple Cookies
  24. Oatmeal Carmelitas
  25. Monster Cookies


Banana Boats

I don’t really need a recipe for Banana Boats. I’ve been making them at camp since I was a Junior Girl Scout. This recipe from the April 2011 issue of All You (original here), however, includes instructions for cooking the treat in the oven. An option for Banana Boats that doesn’t require me to build a fire? Yes please!


  • 4 small bananas
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  2. Slit each banana lengthwise through 1 side of peel, taking care to avoid cutting all the way through banana.
  3. Stuff each slit with chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  4. Wrap each banana in aluminum foil, place upright on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake until chocolate and marshmallows have melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Unwrap and serve immediately.


  • For a bit of crunch, add chopped salted peanuts to the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  • Or, add drizzled caramel so it resembles the popular British dessert Banoffee Pie.
  • You can use milk chocolate for a sweeter taste, or bittersweet for a stronger flavor.
  • Instead of buying chips, you can chop up a 4-oz candy bar.

Pumpkin Mousse

From the Atkins website (original online), this low-carb dessert looks decadent but has only 5 carbs. Changing the heavy cream to a lighter, low-fat version would help keep the fat a bit lower—though as is, the recipe only has 17 grams of fat. Looks like a wonderful addition to the autumn recipes!


  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (1 packet)
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 15 ounces pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1½ cup heavy cream
  • 12 packets granular sugar substitute (sucralose)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water, let sit 5 minutes until gelatin softens.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin pie spice 1–2 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat to low, stir in gelatin mixture and cook 1-2 minutes more until gelatin melts.
  4. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
  5. Place pumpkin purée in a large bowl, mash well with a fork.
  6. In large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat cream, sugar substitute and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  7. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold in cooled gelatin mixture.
  8. In three additions, gently fold whipped cream mixture into pumpkin purée.
  9. Divide mousse into 8 dessert glasses. Chill 2 hours.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

From the October 2009 Real Simple (original online), these tasty cupcakes start with a cake mix, but folks will never know they’re not made from scratch!


  • 1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 pieces candy corn (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
  4. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
  7. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Scary Spiders

A recipe from the October 2009 issue of All You (original online). This no-cook party snack will “transform packaged snack cakes into creepy crawlers.”

IngredientsScary Spiders

  • Chocolate-covered cream-filled snack cakes (such as Ring Dings)
  • Mini chocolate cream-filled snack cakes (such as 100-calorie packs of Hostess chocolate cupcakes)
  • Black licorice laces
  • M&M’s
  • Chocolate and vanilla icing


  1. Use a toothpick to poke eight holes in cake, insert licorice laces into holes and trim ends to desired length.
  2. Attach M&M’s as eyes using dots of icing.
  3. Pipe dots of chocolate icing for pupils and create fangs by piping small bits of vanilla icing.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

A recipe from the April 2010 issue of All You (original online). The article explains, “This lightened-up version of a classic crumb cake can save you almost 200 calories per serving (compared to Starbucks classic coffee cake).”



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


  1. Make topping: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use fingertips to blend until mixture resembles large peas. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  4. Cut a 9-inch circle of parchment; place in pan. Mist with cooking spray.
  5. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat sour cream, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add eggs and egg white.
  8. Beat until frothy, about 3 minutes.
  9. Blend in vanilla and yogurt until smooth.
  10. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  11. Fold in berries.
  12. Spread batter evenly in pan.
  13. Sprinkle with topping.
  14. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.
  15. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of pan.
  16. Peel off parchment and turn cake right-side up on rack to cool. Cut into 12 wedges and serve.

Microwave Baked Apple

A recipe from the September 2010 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “This delicious baked apple recipe only takes 10 minutes to make, eating healthy couldn’t be easier.”


  • 1 Fuji, Granny Smith, or Gala apple
  • 1 teaspoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Core apple; remove peel from top 1/2 inch.
  2. In a bowl, mix raisins, sugar and butter.
  3. Pack mixture into core of apple.
  4. Place apple right side up in a microwave-safe bowl.
  5. Pour in 1/2 cup water.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon over top of apple.
  7. Cover bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small space for steam to escape, and cook in microwave on full power for 5 minutes, or until apple is fragrant and soft, checking every 2 minutes (microwave cooking times vary).
  8. Remove apple from bowl, place on a clean small plate and pour 1 tsp. of cooking liquid over apple. Serve warm.

S’mores Cookies Bars

A recipe from the May 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “Graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow topping, and milk chocolate chips baked into a bar is a fun twist on this iconic graham cracker dessert.”


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups marshmallow topping (such as Marshmallow Fluff)
  • 2 cups milk-chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
  3. Mist foil with cooking spray.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; mix well.
  5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes.
  6. Beat in eggs until well combined.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  8. Divide dough in half.
  9. Press half of dough into pan until dough is uniform and flat.
  10. Spread with marshmallow topping and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  11. Scatter remaining dough over in clumps. Don’t worry about covering the top; marshmallow and chocolate chips should peek through.
  12. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  13. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan, peel off foil and cut into bars. To make it easier to cut the bars, cover and refrigerate them for at least an hour or up to overnight. Use the foil overhang to remove them from the pan. Peel off foil, place on a cutting board and slice.

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

A recipe from the April 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “These delicious treats are best served with a tall glass of milk.” That’s true of most cookies though.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, honey and vanilla.
  3. Stir in Rice Krispies and oats and allow mixture to cool.
  4. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips.
  5. Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in chopped peanuts, pressing to coat.
  6. Makes 24 cookies.
  7. Store in refrigerator.