Spiced Baked Apple Dumplings
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter (very cold)
1/2 cup milk
4 medium apples, peeled and cored
1/2 – 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins or golden raisin, or a combination of both
3 oz. butter
1/3 cup butter
1-1/3 cups hot water
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of ginger
Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel apples and remove all of the cores using a sharp knife. Slice off just a small amount at the top and bottom of each apple to flatten them out so they'll wrap easily in the dough.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter, using your hands to squish everything together, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the milk all at once and stir to form the dough. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour in small increments until you reach the desired consistency.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into four 6-inch squares. Place an apple on each square. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fill the core with raisins, generously dust each apple with this mixture, and top each apple with a dab of butter.
Moisten the edges of the pastry square with a little water. Gently pull the dough up around the apple as close to the top as possible and pinch the edges to seal. Pinch together any tears in the dough around the apples. Decorate the top of the apple with dough cutouts of leaves, or add any other creative flair you wish. Place in a 3-qt. sauté pan.
Combine butter, hot water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a small saucepan. Pour this mixture over the dumplings and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until dough is nicely browned. These dumplings are best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.