Today is more than just National Caramel Apple Day. Today is also National Trick or Treat Day, and not because it’s also Halloween, This year that happens to be a happy coincident. National Trick or Treat Day is officially the last Saturday in October. Which means in the next 10 years, Halloween and Trick or Treat Day are only the same day twice – this year and again in 2026.
National Trick or Treat Day is new. It was proposed by The Halloween and Costume Association in 2018 as a way to extend the Halloween Season. It became “official” in 2019, after nearly 70,000 people signed their petition and more than 200 media outlets covered their story. I’m not sure having a National Trick or Treat Day is going to help the costume industry this year. Far too many communities have elected to cancel Halloween completely – not allowing Trick or Treaters to go door to door collecting free candies, no Truck or Treat gatherings in some areas and all those parties put on hold. Even Peeps Candies has elected not to produce Halloween Peeps and Christmas Peeps this year. While I don’t mind missing Halloween Peeps, the Marshmallow Treats at Christmas Time were great for decorating an Ugly Sweater Cake.
This year there was a great deal of debate in our house about decorating for Halloween. While Christmas is a huge deal for me, my guys live for Halloween. They decided to put up some things just to keep the tradition going, but when the governor put out tight restrictions, any outdoor decorating seemed inappropriate. We aren’t going to celebrate Halloween at all except to cook up a scary Dead Man’s Bones Rip supper and watch spooky movies as a family. It’s sad to see how fear has robbed us of the right to live our lives as we once did.
What is even sadder is how Halloween has changed over the years. Once upon a time, when I was a girl, Halloween meant more than just getting tiny one-bite candies from neighbors you barely knew. People baked goodies. You came home with caramel apples, and cookies and popcorn balls. If you were lucky, someone even took the trouble to bake cupcakes. Your neighbors were family friends, not strangers. Today unless you are hosting a party or attending a church or school gathering, you dare not let your children accept baked goods from anyone. That is sad indeed. I wish I knew how to quiet our fears and return to a world of trusting innocence.
Here’s to the Halloween of bygone years. And National Caramel Apple Day.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
1 box Spice Cake mix
1 cup Water
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 medium Apple
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups into each of 24 regular-size muffin tin cups.
Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, beat for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Peel and chop apple into small pieces. Fold apple into the batter mix. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Butter, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Sift powdered sugar, slowly add to creamed mixture, beating well between additions. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, bean until smooth. Spoon frosting into decorating bag fitted with star tip; pipe on tops of cupcakes.
1/2 cup Caramel Topping
24 (3-inch) Cinnamon Sticks
Drizzle each piped cupcake with caramel topping. Insert a cinnamon stick into the cupcakes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.