But much to our dismay, our candy bags were gone.
My father was and still is a firm believer in healthy eating. In his book, Halloween is a conspiracy to give children mouthfuls of cavities. Our candy bags were properly inspected and disposed of; after a quick perusal, the majority of our treats were thrown in the trash.
But my father is also a man of moderation.
He makes his own rules, but he bends them too.
The one candy bar that survived his litmus test was an Almond Joy. In his mind, the "healthy" coconut and two meager almonds on top allowed for a responsible indulgence.
To this day, my father keeps Almond Joys in our refrigerator. He treats himself to a bar or two each week on his way to tennis.
Thankfully, we had an older sister and brother-in-law who introduced us to the wonders of Milk Duds, Junior Mints, M&Ms and Snickers. But even without their "corruption" Noelle and I would have been perfectly content to only eat those chewy, nutty Almond Joy bars.
I have to give my father credit--he picked a pretty delicious bar to bend his rules for.
The cupcakes are then topped with a simple chocolate butter cream, which is then embellished with toasted coconut and sliced almonds.
Delicious. Easy. And a joy to look at it and then devour.
*Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 1/2 cups + 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (avoid imitation!)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 tin muffin pan. Beat butter on high speed for 3 minutes, then add the sugar and beaut until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add each egg white, beating for 30 seconds each.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together your milk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
3. Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to your butter mixture by alternating additions (dry-wet-dry), starting and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Your batter will be thick.
4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, divide the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, being sure to rotate your pan after the first 10 minutes to ensure even baking. Remove to a wire rack and frost when cooled.
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until smooth and creamy. Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut and slice almonds.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores