No tricks here—only hauntingly delicious sweets you won't want to share with the kiddos

In SLO CAL, something deliciously decadent lurks around every corner this fall. Reach for ribbons of rich caramel and heaping handfuls of cinnamon, cardamom, maple, and clove. Let the kids keep their candy corn and sour gummy worms. These cozy fall treats are all grown up.

 

1. Avila Valley Barn - Cider Float

Feeling extra sweet? Dive into Avila Valley Barn's newest creation - the Cider Float. Sip on locally made apple cider with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon sugar. The cherry on top is house-made donuts. While you're there, take a stroll through the pumpkin patch and a photo in the field of sunflowers. 

The Cider Float at Avila Valley Barn in SLO CAL

 

2. Paso Almonds - Brittle Corn

Throw it back to a nostalgic popcorn treat of yesteryear—with a twist! Paso Almonds' Brittle Corn is a combo of two popular fall offerings: fresh-popped popcorn and chewy, almond-studded brittle (two treats your grandparents probably enjoyed while bobbing for apples years ago). It all starts with a big batch of their famous old-fashioned Almonds Brittle, never cloying and always satisfyingly buttery. The caramel-laden recipe is modified to include light, airy popcorn, so you get a satisfying mix of texture in each bite. Made in small batches in San Luis Obispo, this is one treat you'll savor all through the fall season (and perhaps even want to gift later in the year—if you have any left). See why the Los Angeles Times called these morsels “Fresh, perfectly crunchy, addictive and chock full of roasted almonds.” Might we add that this brittle does not stick to your teeth? Once you pop, you can't stop!

 

3. Sally Loo's - House Made Chai

The days may still be sunny (we get more than 300 days of sunshine per year in SLO CAL, and we're not mad about it), but you can still get super cozy this time of year. All you need is a comforting drink in hand and a good book. Follow your nose to Sally Loo's Wholesome Cafe, and you will be handsomely rewarded with spice, cream, and foam. Inside this charming community-loved coffee shop (located in San Luis Obispo's Historic Railroad District), you'll find baristas mixing up the autumnal beverages galore, including hot chocolate, seasonal lattes, and thick milkshakes. We suggest the house-made Chai, of course. Made with fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, whole cloves, cardamom pods, black tea, and your milk of choice (dairy, almond, soy—there's always something new to discover), it's basically Fall in a cup. Next stop? The pumpkin patch!

 

4. Come Get Your Cookies – Maple Bacon Tabasco Cookies

Yes, this SLO CAL cookie business is actually called "Come Get Your Cookies," which makes sense when you understand the owner's no-fuss business approach. Scott Beer didn’t ask to become a small business owner. On the contrary—it was practically demanded of him once he started bringing his unique cookie creations to his former office job functions. When his signature maple-bacon-Tabasco cookies caught the attention of friends and colleagues (not to mention local SLO CAL grocery stores), he had no choice but to turn the hobby into the real deal. Once you try these Templeton-made cookies yourself, you'll understand the appeal. Smoked bacon bits, luxurious maple syrup, sea salt, and a bold splash of heat (courtesy of everyone's fave fiery condiment) make these cookies a fabulous fall alternative when you've had one too many pumpkin spice flavored drinks.

 

5. Pardon My French – Snickerdoodles

Pardon my French, but these cookies are truly the bee's knees. There's just something about fall that makes us want to pile on the cinnamon. It's understandable, right? This traditional warming spice is like a sweater for your tastebuds. Pardon My French Bakery's Snickerdoodles—made from heaping portions of butter, sugar, and flour rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked to chewy perfection—are total crowd-pleasers this harvest season. The Grover Beach bakery knows how to marry sophisticated French techniques with classic recipes, so you can rest assured these are not your average desserts (also ask about their seasonal sugar cookies emblazoned with cute fall images). Soft, sugary and oh-so-aromatic, pair with a glass of local mulled zinfandel for a full-body hug.

 

6. Negranti Creamery - Salted Brown Sugar ice cream

Having a bad day? Not on our watch! Wrap your lips around a double scoop of salted brown sugar ice cream made right here in SLO CAL. Layers of brown sugar and sea salt have a way of inspiring happy thoughts (like devouring irresistible cookie dough from behind your grandma's back). Or, opt for the fall seasonal flavors: pumpkin, maple pecan or the pumpkin + gingersnap ice cream sandwich. Negranti Creamery, located in Templeton's Tin City (and coming soon to San Luis Obispo Public Market), is a wonderland of dairy delights (you can even make your scoop an ice cream sandwich for maximum joy). Made from local sheep's milk and mixed with local ingredients, every pint is a love letter to SLO CAL's robust flavors. Stop in this fall and satisfy any lingering brown sugar blues. Yes, even "grown-up" problems can be solved by a well-crafted cone.

 

7. Azita's Bakery - Candied Pecan Eclairs

Swap boring old muffins for a more pleasurable pastry filled with candied pecan goodness and you just might become the "go-to" house for Thanksgiving from here on out. Back Porch Bakery takes its eclairs very seriously, so you can have the fun of devouring them in about ten seconds flat. These beautiful Atascadero-made pastries are always baked until crisp, then filled to perfection with the most heavenly substances known to mankind. Flaky. Warm. Gooey. Pecans. More pecans. Need we say another word?

 

8. Sweet Offerings Cambria – Classic Fudge

How sweet it is to enjoy the little things in life this fall. Sweet Offerings in Cambria doesn’t sell supermarket candy—at least not the kind seen at today’s grocery stores. Described by one guest as “what Willy Wonka’s house might look like,” the store’s crisp black-and-white striped interior houses a large selection of retro childhood confections including Mallo Cups, Sky Bar and Fizzies. You'll also find decadent fudge, which (gasp) is absolutely free to sample. Not finished reliving your childhood fantasies? We get it. Check out the large display case brimming with gourmet handmade chocolates and truffles. The best part about being a grown-up? You can choose to take home as many pieces of fudge as you please.

 

9. SloDoCo - Maple Donut

You can't go wrong with a classic maple donut from SloDoCo in San Luis Obispo. Choose between maple buttermilk, maple old fashioned, maple cake, maple raised, maple bacon and maple chocolate chip pillow, or all of the above! If pumpkin is your ingredient of choice, try the pumpkin pie pillow. With over 100 donut options to choose from, you won't regret it. 

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