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Cookie Rookie Column: Fritter the day away

When I started The Cookie Rookie dessert column a little ways back, I didn’t know a teaspoon from a tablespoon, literally. But, I could read and (sort of) follow instructions, so I plodded forward.

Along the way I’ve whipped up a bunch of desserts. Some mediocre, some delicious (and often messy), and a few that became semi-legendary around NewsTribune headquarters. (Kansas City Coffee Toffee Ice Cream Pie really brought the house down.) I made plenty of mistakes, took hundreds of photos looking for the perfect pictures for the paper and even shot a step-by-step video along the way. But most importantly, I learned.

My latest exploits were definitely another learning experience.

This month’s recipe is a fall treat that comes from a recommendation of my mother, who along with my grandmother Lucy, are my biggest inspirations when it comes to baking and cooking. It’s an old family recipe, adapted and passed down from my great-aunt Betty Crocker’s Old Fashioned Cookbook — Apple Fritters.

The recipe, converted from corn fritters (which my mom says are also good, by the way), is just about as simple as it gets, and is constructed with every day ingredients you may just already have laying around your kitchen. Mom recommended “Gala” apples for the melt-in-your-mouth filling, so that’s what I went with.

Of course, I don’t own a Dutch oven. But I do own some type of big black pan-thing, so I made do. Also, I was short a thermometer that actually goes up all the way to 375 degrees, so I guesstimated the oil temperature.

The results: Despite the uncertainty with my methods, the Apple Fritters turned out pretty okay. They definitely didn’t live up to the memories of childhood desserts past, but the fluffy dough and molten apple combination was nothing to sneeze at.

I stuck with powdered sugar for the treats I tried. My wife experimented with adding cinnamon to the mix, which she said really made the fritters a lot better.

Also, this is probably a matter of personal taste, but I would probably go with a sweeter apple if I did this again.

But, if I’m being honest, it’s not my favorite dessert and I probably won’t make it again unless somebody really, really begs me to.

What I learned: A Dutch oven isn’t what I thought it was and I don’t own one, yet. I also need a thermometer that goes up way higher. Time to shop!

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