Life is Sweet: A perfect autumn dessert |

Life is Sweet: A perfect autumn dessert

Bourbon-Toffee Baked Apples

We don’t need a calendar to tell us that autumn is here. In the high country, the colorful leaves, crisp air and morning frosts speak for themselves. And, their message to me is loud and clear: It’s time to turn from desserts that are light, cool, and refreshing to ones that are warm, cozy and satisfying. These Bourbon-Toffee Apples are just that – simple, unpretentious and delectable – made to savor on a cool evening or before an open fire. Honestly, what could represent fall better?

Like the season, their appeal comes from contrasts … the play between the sweet pan juices and the apple’s acidity and the warm fruit, crunchy nuts and cool, creamy ice cream. The varying tastes and textures really work.

In my opinion, all baked apples are good. But, this one stands out because of the sauce. While it’s difficult to pick out the bourbon, toffee and molasses, they add a wonderful complexity to the apple cider and ginger, resulting in a sauce so tasty that one of my testers licked the plate!

Serve this dessert warm or don’t serve it at all. You can, however, make it earlier in the day and re-heat it. Stick the apples, under a foil cover, back in a 300-degree oven until they are quite warm, re-heat the sauce on the stove, and you’re good to go.

Vera Dawson lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her with your comments about this column and/or your baking questions at

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