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Woolworth's Apple Dumplings

See also: Woolworth's Apple Dumpling recipe from a former Woolworth's manager

From: NITA
To: phaedrus
Subject: Solving the delimna of Woolworth's apple dumplings ... Nita 
Date: Monday, February 17, 2003 6:11 AM

Solving the delimna of
Woolworth's apple dumplings
with vanilla sauce on a bed of cherries 
(or, trying to)

Nita H.

An extensive search on the Internet did NOT locate anything NEAR what 
I think this dessert must have been like as it has been described by 
some who remember it so well -- some who would desperately like to 
find a recipe for recreating the dish.

I have cooked many delicious baked apples, but I have never made 
apple dumplings, per se, so I had to resort to reading some recipes 
and making a decision based on them and my more than 54 years cooking 

Life is too short to always do some things when cooking by the long, 
hard, sometimes called "old-fashioned" way. There is so much available 
one can use to simplify cooking.

I think of ready to use pie crusts. Pillsbury puts out an excellent
Refrigerated Pie Crust that I use VERY often. I NEVER use frozen, 
often broken up and dried out pie crusts any more! Some of my friends 
are using canned biscuits successfully when making pastries. 

Time was when you could buy a large can of baked whole apples in a 
family size. I imagine those are still available to the restaurant 
trade, but I haven't seen them on a grocery shelf in many years. Since 
I am disabled and rarely do grocery shopping, even on a scooter, I 
don't know if this option is available for a short cut.

The best baked (not fried) apple pies I have ever had (just recently) 
were made with a most unusual sauce containing Mountain Dew. I think 
after reading a number of recipes for Vanilla Sauces that adding Vanilla 
Extract to the sauce made with Mountain Dew would yield a delicious, 
easily made Vanilla Sauce.

As for the bed of cherries for the dish, I thought of using canned Cherry 
Pie filling, but I think with this sauce, if I used that it would end up 
too sweet. Therefore, I have decided to just use canned Cherries for Pies.

Here is the finished recipe, if I wanted Apple Dumplings on a bed of 
cherries with vanilla sauce, I would try this.

Nita's Easy Apple Dumplings
With Vanilla Sauce On A Bed Of Cherries

1 can 10 "Butter Me Not" Biscuits, separated
5 Winesap, Rome or Washington Red Apples, cored and rinsed with 
cold water

5 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional) 
1 12 oz. can Mountain Dew
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 can Cherries for Pie

Spray a 9"X13" dish or pan with Butter Spray, or lightly grease it with 

Prepare apples: Core and rinse each apple with cold water. Dry off with 
paper towels.

Prepare biscuits: Separate biscuit dough into 10 pieces. Flatten each 
piece of dough into a circle. Wrap one biscuit around each apple HALF. 
Join, pressing together to make a seam. Place, seam side down, in baking 
pan. Leave top of pastry open so you can access the apple core.

Make Sauce: Combine and bring to boil the butter, sugar, Mountain Dew, 
and cinnamon. Add the Vanilla Extract. 

NOTE: Do NOT use Imitation Vanilla Extract. The results will NOT be the 
same if you do!

Pour half the sauce mixture over pies and bake at 350 F. for about 
20 minutes. 

Add Cherries: Pour contents of can of cherries in the dish, spreading 
it around the apples.

Baste Dumplings with remaining half of the sauce and continue baking 
until golden brown.

To serve: Scoop cherries from dish and place some in the bottoms of 
five individual serving dishes. Lift apple dumpling and place on top 
of the cherries. Serve plain, or top with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

Move over memories of Woolworth's!
Here we come!

Nita H., 2003

Here are some recipes (below) that I considered in my search... You 
might like to see what else you can do to make this dish more authentic 
or better! 

Easy Apple Pies

Mildred Williamson

1 can (10) "Butter Me Not" Biscuits 
Chopped apples (about 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp in each)
1 stick butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1 (12 oz.) can Mountain Dew
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Rollout biscuits very thin. into a circle. Place chopped apples on one 
half of biscuit; fold over and use fork to seal edges. Place in a 9x13 
inch casserole dish.

Combine and bring to boil the butter, sugar, Mountain Dew, and cinnamon. 
Pour this mixture over pies and bake as you would biscuits. Bake at 350 
to 400 for 12 to 15 minutes until brown.

Easy Apple Dumplings With Vanilla Sauce

1 can 10 refrigerated "Butter Me Not" biscuits  
5 apples - cored and halved 

1 cup white sugar 
1 cup water 
1/2 cup butter, melted 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

Butter a 7x11 inch baking pan. 

Separate biscuit dough into 8 pieces. Flatten each piece of dough 
into a circle. Wrap one biscuit around each apple half and place, 
seam side down, in pan.
In small bowl, combine sugar, water, melted butter and vanilla. 
Pour mixture over dumplings in pan. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. 

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden. 

Serve hot. 
Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Pastry for 2 (10 inch) pie shells

6 med. firm cooking apples
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. granulated sugar
 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter

2 c. water
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. ground mace (optional)
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pie dough to form a rectangle, 14x22 inches.  Cut into 6 
uniform squares.  Core the apples, but leave them whole.  Pour the 
lemon juice into a small bowl.  In another small bowl, combine the 
granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Roll each apple first in lemon juice, 
then in sugar and place each on top of dough square.  Fill each apple 
cavity with approximately 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon 
butter.  Pull the pastry squares up over the apples and crimp the 
edges tightly; you will have pretty round pastry balls.  Place in an 
oiled 9x13x2 inch pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until apples are tender.  
While apples bake, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan 
set over high heat.  Bring to boil and cook rapidly for 1 minute.  After 
the dumplings have baked for 30 minutes, pour the sauce over top of the 
dumplings and bake 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally. 
Serve hot with the cream.  
Custard Sauce

11/2 c milk
2 tsp cornstarch
1 T sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla extract 
In a heavy 1- to 11/2-quart saucepan, combine 1/4 c of the milk and the 
cornstarch, and stir with a whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. 
Add the remaining 11/4 c of milk and the sugar, and cook over moderate 
heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil. In a 
small bowl break up the egg yolk with a fork and stir in 2 or 3 
tablespoons of the sauce. Then whisk the mixture back into the remaining 
sauce. Bring to a boil again and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. Custard sauce is served 
hot with such desserts as blackberry or cherry-and-apple pie, apple 
dumplings or jam sponge. Makes about 11/2 cups sauce.
Apples and Filling:

6 apples
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Put a peeled, cored apple in the center of each square. Fill with 
sugar/raisin mixture and dot with butter. Moisten edges of dough and 
bring it up around each apple. Seal the edges to within 1/2" of the 
top. Turn back the four corners to expose tops of apples.

Vanilla Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar or,
lightly-packed dark brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and salt. Stir until smooth. 
Add granulated or brown sugar. Blend and cook over medium heat, stirring 
constantly, until mixture bubbles and is lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and blend in 1 cup boiling water. Stir until combined. 
Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring until smoothly thickened. 
Add vanilla. Serve over hot dumplings. 

Thanks, Nita, for the recipe and for a great letter!


More Woolworth's Recipes

Ratner's Vegetable Cutlets

From: "Colleen" 
To: "phaedrus" 
Subject: Ratner's Vegetable Cutlets
Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 9:03 PM

Am sending scanned image of newspaper clipping. Not having tried this, 
I am not implying success, good taste or anthing else. Receipt of this 
recipe bla, bla bla.
Best regards,

Hi Colleen,

Thanks, for sending this! I transcribed the scan into a text file. See below.


Ratner's Vegetable Cutlets

6 medium potatoes booked in boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until tender,peel and mash
1/4 cup butter (or substitute)
2 onions, chopped
6 large mushrooms, chopped
1 can (about 16 ounces) diced carrots, drained
1 can (about 16 ounces) cut green beans, drained
1 can (about 16 ounces) peas, drained
3 eggs
2 cups matzoh meal (approximately
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Vegetable Cutlet Gravy, optional (See recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water 
for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, peel, and mash.
In a skillet, heat the butter and saute the onions and mushrooms in it 
until tender. Pour the onion & mushroom mixture into the bowl with the 
mashed potatoes. Stir in the carrots, green beans, peas, and 2 of the 
eggs. Blend thoroughly. Add enough matzoh meal to the mixture so that 
it has enough consistency to be shaped into large patties. Season to 
taste with salt & pepper.
Shape the mixture into 12 cutlet-sized patties. Beat the remaining egg 
well and brush it on both sides of the patties, coating them thoroughly. 
Place the patties on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake the patties for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve them hot, 
topped with vegetable  cutlet gravy if desired. 

Nutritional info: 503 calories; 16 grams protein; 87 grams carbohydrates; 
11 grams fat; 20% of calories from fat; 9.4  grams fiber; 127 mgs cholesterol; 
656 mgs sodium.
Vegetable Cutlet Gravy

4 tablespoons butter (or substitute)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon mushroom powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt & Freshly ground peppers

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of and saute the onion, carrot, 
celery, green pepper, and garlic in it until soft, about 5 minutes. 
Add the tomoatoes, vegetable stock, and mushroom podwer. Simmer for 
20 minutes. In a bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 
the flour and enough water to make a paste with no lumps. Stir this 
paste into the saucepan with the other ingredients and cook until the 
gravy bubbles and thickens. Season tp taste with salt, pepper, and 
paprika. Serve hot spooned over the vegetable cutlets. 
Enough to serve on 12 cutlets.

Nutritional information: 130 calories; 2 grams protein; 14 grams 
carbohydrates; 8 grams fat; 52% of calories from fat; 2.1 grams 
fiber; 20 mgs cholesterol; 226 mgs sodium.

White Fudge

----- Original Message -----
From: "vonda" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 9:55 PM
Subject: white fudge

> I am looking for a recipe for white fudge possible that it originated 
> in England.

Hello Vonda,

There are dozens of recipes for white fudge. See below for three. "Divinity" candy is also known as "white fudge." I know of no connection with England for any of these.


Snowy  White  Fudge

 Ingredients :
 3 c. sugar
 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
 1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
 1 jar (*7 oz.) marshmallow creme
 1 c. chopped walnuts
 1 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation :
   In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk.  Bring to a
 rolling boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent
 scorching, continue for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add
 marshmallow creme and stir until smooth.  Add walnuts and vanilla
 and stir until blended.  Pour into a buttered 8 inch square pan.
 Place on wire rack to cool.  Cut into squares.  Yield:  about 3
 White  Fudge

 Ingredients :
 2 1/4 c. granulated sugar
 1/2 c. dairy sour cream
 1/4 c. milk
 2 tbsp. butter
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2 tsp. vanilla
 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
 1 c. coarsely chopped nuts
 1/3 c. quartered candied cherries

 Preparation :
   Combine sugar, sour cream, milk, butter, corn syrup and salt in a
 heavy 2 quart saucepan.  Stir over moderate heat until sugar is
 dissolved and mixture reaches a boil.  Boil over moderate heat 9 to
 10 minutes to 238 degrees (soft ball stage).  Remove from heat and
 allow to stand until lukewarm (110 F.) about 1 hour.  Add vanilla
 and beat until mixture just begins to lose its gloss and hold its
 shape.  Requires very little beating.  Quickly stir in nuts and
 cherries and pour into buttered pan.  Let stand until firm before
 cutting.  (Cook to 240 degrees if weather is damp.)  Dietary
 White  Fudge

 Ingredients :
 3/4 c. evaporated milk
 3/4 c. water
 3 c. granulated sugar
 3/4 tsp. salt
 3 tbsp. butter

 Preparation :
   Mix all ingredients thoroughly in 3 quart saucepan.  Cook to a
 soft ball stage (236 degrees F.).  Stirring constantly, maintain a
 full rolling boil throughout.  Remove from heat.  Cool to 110
 degrees F.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Beat until mixture holds
 its shape.  Add 3/4 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup nuts.  Beat until
 very stiff.  Spread into 8 inch buttered pan.

Shortnin' Bread

----- Original Message -----
From: s g
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 6:42 PM
Subject: shortening bread origination

> Was the song "shortening Bread" originally a commercial for shortening?
> s g

Hello s g,

Not hardly. The song "shortnin' bread" pre-dates commercials by many years. It's an original American folk tune from the Deep South, circa pre-1900.

It may have later been used in a commercial for shortening, though. Perhaps in a radio commercial in the 20's or 30's.



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Liz
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 1:36 AM
  Subject: preparing chesnuts for eating

  Hi:  I bought some chestnuts at the store the other day but no one 
  was able to tell me how to prepare them for eating.  I've heard they 
  can be steamed for one way.  Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

  Sincerely, Liz 

Hello Liz,

The first thing to remember is to always cut a slit or "X" in the shell on the flattish side or you will have exploded chestnut all over the place.

Then it's just a matter of what you have to cook with. You can do them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. You can roast them on the grill or in a wire basket over a campfire. Then you can burn your fingers as you peel them and eat them as is or with butter and salt and pepper.

If you want to use them for cooking, cut the cross in them and then put them in a pan covered with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Shell each one as it is removed from the hot water. Usually most of the inner brown membrane will come off at the same time. Reheat the unshelled ones as necessary to facilitate peeling.



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