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Apple Dumplings

For the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar (try Florida Crystals brand)
3 Tbsp. cold margarine, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp. cold vegetable shortening
1/2 cup plus 1/2 Tbsp. nondairy creamer (try Silk brand)

• Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 Tbsp. of the sugar (the rest will be used in the assembly) in a bowl. Blend in the margarine and shortening with a pastry blender or your fingertips until crumbly. Add the 1/2 cup nondairy creamer (the rest will be used in the assembly) and stir with a fork just until the mixture is moistened.
• On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough 7 to 8 times or until a soft dough forms (be careful not overwork the dough).

For the Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp. light molasses
2 small tart apples (1/2 lb.), such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup coarse, fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

• Mix the sugar and molasses until thoroughly combined.
• In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients until the apples are coated. Set aside.

For the Syrup:
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider
• In a small bowl, stir the sugar with the molasses until combined.
• Over medium-high heat, bring the cider and the molasses sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Keep hot until ready to assemble.

For the Assembly:
• Preheat the oven to 425°F.
• Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an approximately 16×11-inch rectangle, with 3/4-inch thickness. Halve dough lengthwise, then cut crosswise in thirds to form 6 squares.
• Divide the filling evenly into the centers of the squares. Bring all 4 corners together over the filling and pinch together to seal, forming a little bundle.
• Spread a generous amount of margarine into a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Transfer the dumplings to the baking dish and arrange about 1 inch apart. Brush tops with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. creamer and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. sugar.
• Pour the hot syrup over the dumplings. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings