It's almost Halloween -- for today is Halloween Eve . . .
I love Halloween for I adore the little children all decked out in costumes who come "begging" for candy. I dress as a witch and sit outside and hand out full size
candy bars to the little imps.
When it comes to Halloween decorations, I'm of the less is more variety and I prefer ours to be outside and out just a day or two before Halloween. I prefer mine to be jack o lanterns and only jack o lanterns.
I love these two concrete jack o lanterns -- 363 days of the year they are concrete sculpture -- pumpkins but on Halloween Eve and Halloween itself, I turn them around . . . and they are happy jack o lanterns ready to light the night.
And each year, I buy one special pumpkin. One pumpkin to be turned into the Halloween jack o lantern. To show the entrance to the "witchy lair" . . . A perfect pumpkin . . . which I carve. . .
Into the perfect jack o lantern.
But one of my neighbors, turned this . . .
A big old tree . . .
Into this -- the perfect Halloween/Haunted House tree turned into a pumpkin tree. A plethora of plastic pumpkins hanging from the bare branches of the tree . . . I am enchanted!
And as our neighbors turned an ordinary tree into a Halloween tree so I turned . . .
A bowl of apples from Minnesota into . . .
A bowl of applesauce, which I then turned into . . .
A spiced applesauce cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
A perfect fall cake. A perfect cake to tote to our church's annual Reformation Sunday Potluck. Luckily, the dessert table was full and so I was able to bring home a couple of pieces for they made a perfect nosh
For a Sunday afternoon tea on the porch. After
church and after
a nap and after
planting the final two packages of spring bulbs and after
carving my Halloween pumpkin into a jack o lantern.
It was peaceful on the porch as I sipped my tea (Harney's Cinnamon which is a perfect fall tea and a perfect compliment to the spiced applesauce cake) because . . .
Someone got left inside! He waited patiently by the door in case, just in case, I decided to let him join me. He thought at least one bite
of that cake had his name on it!!!!!
It's Monday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
for Met Monday for it is fun to see a tree transform into a Halloween tree and a bowl of apples turn into an afternoon tea nosh!
The cake is from Smitten Kitchen and is a very good cake -- she said it keeps well but since we took it to church, we didn't get to find out -- the two pieces we brought home were for afternoon tea. It is a good cake, made better, I think, by using my own homemade applesauce.
SPICED APPLESAUCE CAKE WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
1/4 t. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8 or 9 inch square cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat butter, brown sugar nd vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts. The batter will look a little curdly and uneven, but don't worry, it will all bake up perfectly in the end. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
Make frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.
It's Halloween -- and the ghosts and goblins have their fingers in my post . . . click on the vertical box and a picture will appear . . . don't ask me why this happened . . . but if it had to happen, a Halloween post seems an appropriate post for a "missing" picture!