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Cookbook author Shauna Sever is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her favorite sweet recipes from her book, "Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland." She shows us how to make a sticky caramel apple cake, a powdered doughnut cake and crispy butterscotch rice treats.
Apple dapple cakes appear in many mid-century cookbooks and they all seem to offer some little interesting riff on the concept of a cake so moist it's basically damp. It's packed with enough apple chunks to create a rippled effect on the surface of the cake, all the better to catch puddles of a simple powdered sugar icing. This version with the addition of coffee in the batter and a buttery brown sugar glaze, tempers the sweetness of both the cake and the fruit and makes it awfully hard to stop at just one square.
This loaf is the sort of taste sensation belying its appearance. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has eaten this modest-looking cake and exclaimed with wonder that it indeed tastes like a giant powdered sugar donut. And as my friend, the brilliant cookbook writer Kate Leahy, noted while testing it, "I completely underestimated the role nutmeg plays in making something donut-flavored."
Scotch-a-roos are the very definition of Midwestern excess. The best ones are reminiscent of a slab of sticky, gooey, crunchy candy bar filling, glossed over with a truffle-like chocolate and butterscotch topping. They're a classic that works for any celebration. Helps keep dentists in business, too.
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