Monday, August 22, 2022

Autumn Ombre M&M's Cake & Vintage Hot Apple Cider

This post was first published on my former blog, in 2013 during a partnership with M&Ms. I am no longer affiliated with any brands---I just thought you'd all love the festive idea!

Ombre is one of the new big things in fashion and decor.  We see gorgeous ombre hair designs, long ombre-patterned skirts---even fantastically ombre-painted walls are making an appearance all over Pinterest.  When I had the chance to work with M&Ms fall candies, I thought, why not make an ombre-designed cake?! It's finally fall and I'm so thrilled to be making some delicious autumn treats to share with my readers!

Before I frosted and decorated my cake, my family couldn't agree on what it was supposed to be. Some of the boys thought it was a football. Avalon thought it was a fish. I was initially making a leaf--but once I got it decorated, I thought it looked more like an acorn. Either way, it was really easy for me to make the (obscure) design by tracing it onto a 13x9 cake and cutting it out with a sharp knife. In the past, when I've made more detailed designs, I've drawn the shape onto parchment paper, cut it out, and cut around the shape as a stencil.

Since the fall-themed M&Ms have beautifully coordinating colors, I thought they were the perfect thing to use to make my ombre design. After frosting the cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, it took about 30 minutes to make the design with the chocolate candies.

This is a great quick dessert idea, not just for fall baking, but for any season or occasion. The design options and color choices are endless.

Another delicious fall recipe is Hot Apple Cider.  Hot cider is a timeless treat---the earliest record of it having been made in 55 BC when Julius Caesar found the people of Kent brewing up a delicious hot apple drink.  I found the following recipe in my grandmother's cookbook from the mid-1950s. I thought it would be fun to write it out just like the book has it written.

Mulled Apple Juice or Cider 
(from The American Everyday Cookbook, 1955)

4 cups apple juice or cider

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1 small stick cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Put into a large enamel or glass saucepan the apple juice or cider, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar. Heat slowly, so it requires from 20 to 30 minutes to reach the simmering point. When this point is reached, remove the kettle from the heat.

2. Strain the liquid into 5 or 6 cups and serve immediately.

Variation: Hot Buttered Cider: Add 1 teaspoon of butter to the liquid just before removing from the heat.

What are some of your favorite fall recipe ideas?

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