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Sugar-free but still a sweet treat

There are more recipes than ever for baked goods using little or no sugar. Helen Snyder comments that her Applesauce Raisin Muffin recipe makes sumptuous sugar-free muffins that freeze beautifully. Warm briefly in the microwave and enjoy.

Mary Banaszak makes her Sugarless Applesauce Oatbran Muffins with bananas, orange juice and whole wheat flour.

Maryland is famous for its crab meat, and today's recipe for Cream of Crab Soup is from the Maryland Seafood Marketing Authority.

For: Kaye Reese of Wesley Chapel.

From: Helen Snyder of Spring Hill and Gertrude Lozaro of Dunedin.

Recipe: Sugar-free Applesauce Raisin Muffins. Helen's recipe was clipped from the Times, and Gertrude found hers in Sweet and Sugar-free by Karen E. Barkie, a book she highly recommends.

Sugar-free Applesauce Raisin Muffins

1 large egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1{ cups unsweetened applesauce

2 cups unbleached white flour

} teaspoon baking soda (Gertrude uses

teaspoon)

2 teaspoons baking powder

{ teaspoon ground nutmeg

{ teaspoon ground cinnamon

} cup raisins

} cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat together egg, oil and applesauce. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Add to egg mixture and stir until well-moistened. Stir in raisins and nuts.

Spoon into greased and floured muffin cups (or use paper liners) filling about full. Bake at 375 degrees 20-25 minutes or until firm to the touch and browned.

Cool on wire racks. Makes 12. These freeze beautifully. To use, warm briefly in the microwave.

Delicious with cream cheese. Add a little milk to the cream cheese to make a softer spread.

Oat bran can be substituted for part of the flour, but it makes a denser muffin.

From: Mary Banaszak of Tampa.

Recipe: Sugarless Applesauce Oat Bran Muffins.

Sugarless Applesauce Oat Bran Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oat bran cereal

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, slightly beaten

\ cup vegetable oil

2-3 packets Sweet 'N Low

sugar substitute (or { cup sugar)

2 small ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{ cup unsweetened applesauce

{ cup orange juice

In small bowl, combine first five ingredients; set aside.

In another bowl, combine egg, oil, sugar substitute, mashed bananas, vanilla, applesauce and orange juice. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes. Makes 12.

For: Margaret Anderson of Clearwater.

From: Laura Harrington of St. Petersburg and Rebecca Paylor of New Port Richey.

Recipe: Maryland Cream of Crabmeat Soup from Maryland Seafood Cookbook published by the Seafood Marketing Authority of Annapolis, Md.

Maryland Cream of Crabmeat Soup

1 pound crabmeat

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 cup boiling water

\ cup chopped onion

\ cup margarine or butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

\ teaspoon celery salt

[ teaspoon pepper

Few drops hot sauce

1 quart milk

Parsley flakes, for garnish

Remove cartilage from crabmeat. Dissolve bouillon cube in water.

In 4-quart saucepan, cook onion in margarine or butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Add milk and bouillon gradually and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat spoon. Add crabmeat; heat but do not boil. Garnish with parsley flakes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Soup improves upon standing as flavors get a chance to blend, so this is a good "prepare ahead" dish. Let mixture come to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat over very low heat, stirring often, until soup is hot but not to the boiling point.

Recipe requests

Betty Henshaw of Spring Hill has lost her recipe for Date Macaroon Pie in moving. Egg whites, dates, sugar, almond flavoring and possibly crushed saltines are among the ingredients. It is baked in a pie pan and the batter crackles on top.

The recipe for Squash and Crabmeat Casserole that Pat Gnau of St. Petersburg clipped from the Dallas Morning News has been lost over the years. Do you have one in your files?

Lucille Bruckler of Seminole and Janet Sheldon of New Port Richey want an authentic Italian recipe for Pasta e Fagioli.

American Chop Suey was popular in the Chicago area in the 1940s. As Val Moody of Clearwater remembers, cubes of pork, veal and beef were mixed with molasses, soy sauce, much celery and possibly bean sprouts. She hopes you have a copy of this "oldie."

You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked For It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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