A co-worker kind of 'challenged' me to make this thing she heard about (probably on the internet). So, challenge met!

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake With Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Spiders  (Prep. time: 5 hours.  It is a slow-cooker, after all. Serves 15 or more depending on size of slices)

1 box yellow cake mix

½ C. diced, peeled apple (I used Gala)

1 Tb. cinnamon

3 eggs

½ C. unsweetened applesauce

cooking spray and flour to prep. the slow cooker

Spray and flour the inside of the slow cooker.  Prepare the cake mix per box instructions (ingredients above are from the box I bought) Substitute the applesauce for oil in the mix.  Mix in the cinnamon.  Fold in the diced apples. Pour the batter into the slow-cooker. Cover and cook on high 3 ½ to 4 hours.  Check doneness with a toothpick.  When toothpick comes out clean, remove the pot from the base and place on a cooling rack for at least a half hour until cake pulls away from the pan a little.  Run a knife around the edge. Place a rack over the pot and flip the cake out onto the rack to continue to cool.

*Note:  since it is steaming, rather than baking, the cake doesn’t rise all that much.  It remains rather dense since the quicker oven heat isn’t there to cause the reaction with leavening agents like baking powder and baking powder to form those air bubbles that make cakes rise.  Just looks different but tastes as good.

Prepare your favorite butter cream frosting or use canned frosting.  I stirred in a little more cinnamon (about 1 tsp.) to homemade butter cream.  Ice the cooled cake.

For Halloween chocolate-covered peanut butter decoration: (same recipe as the  peanut butter balls on an earlier Foodie Friday. See Kathy's Recipes on the trending bar and search peanut butter.)

1 C. powder sugar

½ C. creamy peanut butter

3 Tb. room-temperature butter

¼ tsp. vanilla

1 C. chocolate chips

2 Tb. vegetable shortening.

black or brown licorice laces

Mix the sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined.  I colored the filling with red food coloring to make the spiders scarier.  The filling mixes best if you wear latex gloves and use your hands.  Roll the peanut butter filling into a ball then shape a little head and place each on a wax paper-lined sheet pan and chill for about a half hour.  Cut the licorice into desired lengths for the legs.  Cut four for each spider, long enough for one strand to be legs on each side. Put the chocolate chips and shortening into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in :30 increments, stirring in-between, until the chocolate liquefies.  Roll the chilled bodies in the chocolate with a fork to totally coat.  Allow excess to run off and carefully position over the legs on another wax-paper lined sheet.  Return to the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.  Ice the cake.  Reserve a little of the frosting if you want to add eyes or other decorations to the spiders.  Place the spiders all over the cake and serve.

People have the option of eating just the candy spiders, a piece of cake or both.