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posted: 10/4/2012 4:02 AM

Move over Mom: Don't mess with my candy corn; try pumpkin spice cupcakes instead

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  • These Halloween cupcakes hold a sweet surprise: a pumpkin spice Hershey's Kiss.

      These Halloween cupcakes hold a sweet surprise: a pumpkin spice Hershey's Kiss.
    George LeClaire

 
By Jerome Gabriel

Candy corn seems to be the food of the season.

For more than 100 years people have been eating candy corn, and while it used to be available only around Halloween, now you can get it year round.

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When it first came out it was popular with farmers because of what it looked like, and now its pretty popular with every one. The National Confectioners Association website says that candy makers will produce more than 35 million pounds of candy corn this year -- that's equal to nearly 9 billion pieces -- enough to circle the moon almost 21 times if laid end-to-end.

Candy corn is so popular that other foods are trying to copy that flavor. Since I like candy corn and tried the new candy corn flavored M&M's, Oreos and chocolate covered candy corns. They look more delicious than they really are. I learned that by having to taste them.

I didn't like the chocolate-covered candy corn at first, but they grew on me. What I liked better were the caramel apple Milky Ways and pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses. I've liked the pumpkin Kisses ever since I had them at my grandma Sharon's house a couple years ago. Like candy corn used to be, the pumpkin spice Kisses are only available during the fall season.

So I started thinking what I could do with them and we came up with this cupcake idea.

A word from Mom: Jerome and I share a liking for candy corn and a dislike for these new candy-corn flavored treats. The M&M's were so cloyingly sweet that we drank about a quart of water between us after just tasting a few. We let a few other people at the Buehler YMCA try some of the other candy corn treats and they didn't get a very positive response.

These pumpkin spice cupcakes, however, were received with open arms. I stirred together a homemade pumpkin pie spice blend that Jerome whipped into store-bought cream cheese frosting. He then spread a thin coating of frosting on the cooled cupcakes so the spice notes won't scare you away.

• Jerome Gabriel, a seventh-grader, has been helping in the kitchen since he could hold a spoon. His mom, Deborah Pankey, is the Daily Herald's food editor.

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