I'm always a little sad to see summer end. But there are some good things to look forward to: the autumn foliage in the mountains, my kids' soccer and tennis competitions, and that extra hour of sleep when daylight-saving time ends.

The cooler weather also nudges us to get back to baking. Here are some State Fair winners that might inspire you to get into the kitchen.

RASPBERRY-ORANGE BRAID

2 packages of Fleischmann's Yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2/3 cup instant dry milk powder

3/4 cup very warm water (or enough

to make 2 cups milk)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs

7-8 cups all-purpose flour

Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup warm water; gently stir in 2 teaspoons sugar. "Proof" the yeast (allow it to soften and foam). Meanwhile, mix milk powder with very warm water to make 2 cups milk.

In bread mixer, combine the prepared milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vegetable oil and salt. With bread mixer, at medium speed, gradually add 3 cups of the flour; then mix in eggs, one at a time.

Mix in prepared yeast liquid. Gradually add the rest of the flour to make a soft dough.

Allow to rise for 45 minutes or until double.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle. Brush entire surface with Raspberry-Orange Butter (recipe follows), reserving some for later use.

Cut 1-inch slits on both long sides of rectangle. Braid slits and form to the desired shape.

Place on flat baking pan, lightly greased, or pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise until double, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Brush again with Raspberry-Orange Butter. Serve warm with additional prepared butter.

RASPBERRY-ORANGE BUTTER

1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet cream

butter, softened

4 tablespoons raspberry preserves

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons honey

Combine ingredients in medium mixing bowl and whip until smooth. Chill before serving.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups. — Carol Bartholomew, Salt Lake City, first place, Fleischmann's Yeast "Bake for the Cure" Contest

CHEWY CHOCOLATE S'MORES BARS

1 package Devil's Food cake mix

1 cube margarine

1 egg

2 cups miniature marshmallows

4 whole graham crackers, crumbled

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened

condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, margarine and egg.

Press into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and poke 10 small holes in the cake.

Sprinkle graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows on top and pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over all ingredients.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until marshmallows are golden brown.

Cool completely and cut into bars. — Amy Newton, Draper, first place, Eagle Brand "Great Baking Bonanza"


E-MAIL: [email protected]