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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Mini Fruit Cheesecakes

This recipe is part of Linda Larsen's Perfect Picnics article.

"These are the most complicated recipe in the menu, but you can make them ahead and store them in the refrigerator. I like to take the pie filling out of the can, put it in a well-sealed plastic container, and place in the cooler so it's chilled at dessert time."

Chocolate Chip Base

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 6 ounce package chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Stir in egg and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and blend. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Place 1 tablespoon of the base in each muffin cup.

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour

Beat softened cream cheese with butter thoroughly until smooth. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs and vanilla and blend thoroughly. Add flour and stir until well combined. Top base with cream cheese mixture, filling muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until tops are light brown. Cool completely and chill.

21 ounce can cherry or other fruit pie filling

Top cheesecakes with pie filling and serve. I like to scoop the cherries or other fruit out of the can and place them in a plastic container, leaving some of the thickened filling behind, so each person gets more cherries per serving.

You will probably have some base dough left over. Guess what - it's chocolate chip cookie dough! Just chill it, well covered, and bake cookies some other time for a fast treat. (375 degrees for 8-10 minutes)

24 servings.

Linda Larsen is a freelance Home Economist with a degree in Food Science from the University of Minnesota and a degree from St. Olaf College. She has been on the Pillsbury Bake-Off staff since 1987, and was in charge of Internet Recipe Search in 2000. Linda has developed recipes for Pillsbury and Malt-O-Meal, presented food to taste panels, held cooking seminars, and owned her own catering business "The Perfect Occasion". She loves to cook and entertain, write about food, talk about it, plan parties, read cookbooks and develop recipes. She has a cookbook collection of at least 1000 books and reads them as though they were novels.

Linda's first meal was a Mother's Day dinner from the Betty Crocker Children's cookbook, prepared when she was 11. Since then she has hosted wedding and baby showers, birthday parties, business dinners and cocktail parties, and wonderful simple meals for friends. Join her and learn simple and elegant ways to entertain your family and friends during the week.

Linda can be reached at

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