Happy Endings

Now is the perfect time of the year to get out and pick apples. There are orchards all over and it can be a great way to spend part of a morning. I recently did just that and had a wonderful time. I came home with a little less than a bushel of Jonamac apples and have been enjoying them fresh, but also in wonderful baked goods. This month's recipe is a perfect example of just that.

This is a classic apple cake that's brimming with almond flavor, provided by a healthy dose of amaretto, an Italian almond-flavored liqueur, and the addition of sliced almonds in the delicious streusel topping featured in this dessert. I used Jonamac apples, but you can use any appropriate baking apple. I like ones that have a fair amount of sweetness and are fairly firm.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Amaretto Apple Cake

For the cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. amaretto
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1 1/2 c. peeled, cored and finely chopped firm apples (I used Jonamacs)
For the streusel:
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. butter, chilled
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds
For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 powdered sugar
  • 2 T. skim milk

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk lightly to combine and set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream the granulated sugar, cream cheese and butter. Add the amaretto, vanilla and eggs to the sugar mixture and blend well. Add the reserved flour mixture and the sour cream and milk to the egg mixture and beat until just blended. Fold in the apples. Spread the batter evenly in the 9x13-inch baking pan.

    To make the streusel, combine all of the streusel ingredients, except the almonds, and cut them together with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the cake.

    Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before glazing.

    To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and mix until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle immediately over the cake and allow to set before slicing.

    • Yields: 12-16 servings
    • Preparation Time: 90 minutes
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