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Fried apples have been a staple on southern tables for ages, and although they're not winning any beauty contests, they more than make up for that with their buttery-brown sugar flavor. I grew up eating fried apples as a side dish to other savory foods - pork dishes, especially - but they were also served as dessert and alongside buttermilk biscuits for breakfast.

We're enjoying cooler weather here in the southeast, so I'm eager to take the pugs outside and let them play in the crisp air - but first! First I'd like to share this Classic Apple Cobbler, which is so season appropriate and easy to make, it could be a good recipe to cozy up to this weekend. It's great at any time of year but I crave its warm spices in cooler months. It's so well-loved there's never a scrap left behind!

We are on the cusp of October, so I figure it's okay to start rolling out all the spooky, haunted, pumpkin-spiced, orange and black treats in any order or combination thereof. Lately I've been drawn to monsters from classic literature, so a Frankenstein's Monster cake seemed like a good place to start!

I love black silhouette technique on white-frosted cakes. You may remember my Portrait of Poe red velvet cake from years ago, or last year's Scary-Good Skeleton Cake for the Etsy Journal. I'm happy to add this green monster cake to the roster and perhaps someday a proper Nosferatu!

This cake came about after a friend asked me to make a Taco Bell cake for her husband's birthday. I thought that was just the cutest idea ever, so I set out to find examples of what a Taco Bell cake might look like. After an online search - wow! Turns out Taco Bell cakes are totally a thing! I gathered some ideas and came up with something I felt was appropriate to feed a crowd of 50, which was a two-tier cake with two small candy taco supremes on top and the bell part of the Taco Bell logo.


In all my baking books (which is quite a few) butter cake recipes are often the most dog eared with pages-stuck-together and splattered with batter from heavy use. They are just so versatile and delicious. This one is made in two standard 9-inch round cake pans. It's covered in fluffy chocolate buttercream with confetti sprinkles and candles on top, which in my opinion makes it a proper (and nostalgic) birthday cake!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my favorite part of the year - baking season! It's the time when I celebrate yeast breads and pie, and make all kinds of candy recipes that I'd shelved because of summer's humidity. It's the time of year when I feel most happy and energized with new dessert ideas swirling around in my brain.

Also - school's in! I don't have children, but I live close to an elementary school so every day I see little ones at recess enjoying these mild days on the playground. There was definitely some nostalgia involved when I whipped up these hand pies. Peanut butter and jelly appeals to kids of all ages, and this portable version of pie makes a great addition to lunchboxes or as after-school snacks.
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