One year ago I was baking up a scratch-made confetti cake for this blog's first birthday.  Not only was it fun to make - in a fling-sprinkles-everywhere kind of way - it was incredibly well received.  Many of you made your own version and sent me pictures of the happiest faces behind lit candles, which makes me more than a little teary as I type this. Words can't express how special those emails are.  They are a gift to me.

Here we are at year two!  I wanted this year's cake to be just as special and sprinkle-filled as the last, but I wasn't exactly sure how to go about doing that - until I discovered Sixlets.

Have you heard of Sixlets?  They're like sprinkles, only bigger, and instead of solid candy they are a mixture of chocolate and carob wrapped in a candy shell.  A little like M&M candies but different, round.  They are sold by the pound in solid colors, metallics and color assortments.  I'm tellin' you,  it's a sprinkle lover's dream come true!  I stacked them high to the tippy-top of this cake for ultimate sprinkle-coverage!

The inside of the cake holds a birthday-blue sprinkle swirl, just like my favorite birthday cake ice cream.

I've been absent from the blogosphere for the past couple of weeks; maybe you've noticed.  I wish I could tell you that I was on a relaxing vacation, but instead I was recuperating from the worst cold I've had in a long time. There's something lurking out there folks.  Beware.  Stay well.

During this time of recuperation I pored over every page of the new Martha Stewart Halloween issue (have you seen it? Good stuff!).  I also curled up with a book of prose by Mr. Edgar A. Poe and became properly creeped out.  It took my mind off being sick for a little while, but soon I was desperate to bake up something spooky!

I realize skeletons and spiders are spookier than the morose looking Mr. Poe, but after spending time with his super creepy work last week I felt a special homage was in order.

The opportunity to review the book  Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home comes at an opportune time.  I'm currently looking to expand the ol' candy repertoire before the holidays arrive.  Is there anything better than getting homemade candy as a gift?  I can't think of anything better at the moment, but that could be because I'm staring down a bowl of buttery pecan pie taffy.  This taffy recipe is just a small taste of what this book has to offer.
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