Friday, December 31, 2010

2010's Favourite Cupcakes

As I run through my ignored Google Reader messages (all two-hundred and fifty three of them), I have noticed a great number of yearly retrospectives that have sprouted up on my favourite blogs. Boy, there have sure been a lot of yummy things this year. And, boy, have I bookmarked a lot of yummy things. Our own blog has been home to it's own sweet recipes. I actually took a look back at them, much like one would look through an old yearbook:

Oooh, remember those cookies? I wonder if they've found jobs yet? 

What about that cake - prom queen one year, ugly the next. 

Mmmm, I wonder if that muffin is still single?

Okay, I have to admit, I don't really anthropomorphize my baked goods like that (in fact, if I do, make sure you start sending emails to my doctor). But it is good to take time to look back at those old, sugar- and butter-filled chums and remember the good, the bad, and the ugly. On this last day of 2010, I'll spare you the bad and ugly part. Who wants to think about failed baked goods when there are so many wonderful ones in our past?

So, without further ado, here are the top five C&C cupcake recipes of 2010:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Disneyland Rundown

It's been a while, hasn't it? Actually, I don't know what day it is. I know it's slightly after Boxing Day. To be honest, I sort of lost track. We had quite the busy holiday. A lot has happened. Our Kulfi Cupcakes won December's Mystery Box Challenge from the Sweetest Kitchen (thank you to everyone who threw your pity votes at us!). I also received some kitchen goodies - including a dehydrator, a new apron, and a set of floral flavoured sprinkles from Paris.

This was the main highlight of our holiday, though:


DSCF3232 (Large)


Mr. C and I finally made our pilgrimage to the Land of Mouse. It's all a blur now - I'm not sure how many days ago we rode Space Mountain or sucked down the magical hot chocolate that made our teeth burn. We got a lot done during those four days. It helped that half our week was plagued by a torrential downpour that kept most of the crowds away (you couldn't beat the 5 minute line up for the Indiana Jones ride). By day three, though, our legs were about ready to fall off and our feet rebelled. The food was wonderful - if you weren't vegan. I had to survive on a meager diet of hotel fruit and the edamame they sold in a little stand in the California Adventure park.

Unfortunately, we didn't dip into Disney's sweet concoctions as much as I wanted to. No cupcakes or frozen bananas on sticks for this crew. The only baked good we snagged was this mouse head:


Disney2

Mickey's got a bit of elephantiasis going on, I understand. But he was tasty. Not to sweet. Lovely chocolate. Absolutely magical. As was the rest of this very very long vacation. We're still not home yet - we've got a couple hours and a ferry ride ahead of us. I do want to share something with you before I finish this little bit of blog-fluff up:

Vegetable Desserts, you say, like pumpkin and carrot? Pish. Nothing special. And I say, oh ye of little faith. Yes, this little book has pumpkin and carrot recipes - but it also has parsnip, turnip, and cabbage desserts. Yes, cabbage. Sauerkraut, to be exact. This wasn't even a Christmas gift - it was actually something I picked up for four bucks at the local used book shop, but I am so incredibly excited to get my hands dirty. The more bizarre, the better (I'm looking right at you sweet pea and mint pie).

Hopefully we will return home soon. And, as soon as Mr. C will let me, I'll cook up some sauerkraut crisps for y'all. Until then (or until we get off this blasted island) I'll have to wish you a wonderful end of December. Keep on cookin'!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kulfi Cupcakes

I've talked about Mr. C a lot. Much to his chagrin. I've told you about his travels around the world, his little quirks, and how we drive each other crazy on a weekly basis. I've always wondered how you, at home, pictured this guy as you read my posts. I mentioned he was born in Nepal and lived in Pakistan, so many of you may have thought that Mr. C tall, dark, and handsome Middle Eastern dreamboat. Sorry to disappoint you. He's a short, pale, and Irish (but still a dreamboat in his own right).

Think Conan O'Brien crossed with Prince Harry. With a little bit of hobbit thrown in.

Image approximation

A small Irish kid living in the Asia and the Middle East? Weird, eh? I know. When we first started dating, I couldn't get over the fact that he smelt like curry all the time. Nowadays, I'm really glad he lived such an eventful life. I am absolutely in love with the food of his childhood, and it's wonderful that I don't have a significant other who turns his nose up at new and strange foods. And, the best thing about Mr. C, is that I get to bake really tasty things for him. 


Kulfi (6)

CSN Christmas Giveaway Winner

 T-minus six hours until we leave for Disneyland. We're running around with our heads cut off right now - or, Mr. C is. I'm watching a Muppet Christmas Carol. 


Yeah, I know. Real mature. 

I guess this is as good of time as any to announce the CSN Christmas Giveaway Winner:


Debbie from Suburb Sanity - COME ON DOWN! 

I hope you spend your CSN electronic gift certificate on something you want, but didn't get under your tree. You'll be receiving your email soon! Yay you!

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday time. I know we will (Mickey, here we come!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CSN Christmas Giveaway

I think I've probably stated this before somewhere in the history of this blog: I'm really a Grinch when it comes to Christmas. As soon as the trees and decorations start going up in the malls and department stores, I'm ready to get my baa-humbug on. Big time. I dislike the massive cutting down of trees, and the trash that piles up on Boxing Day, and buying gifts for people who really don't need anything.


I'm sorry I'm totally ruining your spirit. But, don't worry. There is hope.

I do like some things about Christmas. I like spending time with the family. Eating, drinking, and shooting the shit. I'm all about that. Yes, at the time it might seem a little stressful. Cooking for the in-laws and cleaning out the spare room and schlepping that extra special stool from the basement so your Uncle Jack can get a seat right by the TV might seem like a whole lot of effort at the time. Once it's done, though, you know all your work was worth it.

I'm also really into the charity of the season. A lot of people are forgoing the snuggies and xboxs in order to move towards a better way of giving gifts. I'd recommend looking at charities like Child's Play, UNICEF's Gifts of Magic, and (my favourite) Donors Choose before going to ebay to hunt down that last minute gift.

Speaking of charity, our friends from CSN have decided to donate a $50 gift certificate to you! Hopefully this will really help someone who is struggling for the holidays. Buy yourself something for the kitchen so that you can feed your huge family. Get some toys for a local charity. Or find yourself something to help you keep your sanity this Christmas. Here's how you do it:

  1. You must be a follower to enter. You also must live in the US or Canada.
  2. Leave a comment letting me know a favourite charity of yours, or your favourite way to spend the holiday season. 
  3. You can get another entry by twittering about this contest, and then leaving a separate comment here.
It's as easy as one, two, three! The contest ends the morning of the18th. Good luck. And don't be a Grinch (like me!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rugelach

Hanukkah is eight days because it usually takes that long for people to realize it's Hanukkah. True story.

Now that your menorah is almost fully lit, your gilt is piling up, and you've told your Bubbeh that, no, you're not going to get married to that nice Jewish boy down the hall, it's time to think of the food. Let's face it, not many Jewish holidays are about eating. A lot of them just make you feel guilty (Yom Kipper, I'm looking straight at you). In December, though, you finally get eat until your hearts content without thinking about remorse or atonement. Until you start counting calories. And start feeling remorse over all that holiday weight your thighs are packing on. (It's a never ending cycle, isn't it?)

Rugelach is one of my favourite desserts of this season. How could you go wrong when cream cheese is baked right into the dough. Yeah, I told you you'd feel guilty. But, don't worry. These things are tiny little bites of happiness and are so rich, that you'll only be able to eat one after dinner. Or two. Or five. Like Mr. C did last night.

rugelach03


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Espresso Cocoa Cookies

December really snuck up on me. November was moving along just fine until bam - I had to start thinking about Christmas gifts and end-of-the-year plans. Since we're jetting off on the 18th, my holiday season has been cut in half. I now only have two week to get the shopping, baking, and random good-deeds done. I'm not a fan of that. I'd much rather just close my eyes tight and let it all just pass by. Except for the vacation part. I like that.

So how the heck do I get my butt in gear?

espressococoa

Monday, November 29, 2010

The 2010 Movember Manly Cupcake Champion!

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Three cupcakes stand tall. They overthrew seven other treats to become this year's Manly Cupcake Challenge Finalists. On Saturday, they were baked up and presented to a panel of professional cupcake tasters. Their taste buds were highly focused on the goal - to find and elect this year's Manly Cupcake Champion. Let me tell you, this taste testing wasn't pretty. I'm ninety-three percent sure that at least one of our judges went home in a diabetic coma. I think you bakers did your job.

Now, let's review the scores and crown our champion!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Manly Cupcake Finalists

The votes are in, people. We finally have our three supreme cupcakes that will face off in the ultimate bake-off tomorrow. Without further ado:


The People's Choice
It looks like the Woodshed Prophets have a lot of fans out there! Or, at least, one hundred and fifteen fans! That's all they needed to take this one over the top. Congratulations to Alyssa and her super awesome musical men. I'm really excited to work with that flour-based frosting - I've never made such a thing before! I always need a new frosting to add to my repertoire.


The Baker's Choice
It was a super close race, I'll tell you what. In the end, the bakers picked these amazing cupcakes - and I'm so glad they did. They look complex, and I'm sure they'll take a lot of work to assemble, but I'm positive the end result will be worth it. I've already got the pretzels going as we speak!

C&C's Choice
This was a tough choice. There were a lot of cupcakes that we really wanted to sample. Put, if we picked them all, we would have been baking for days. The BBQ Football cupcake caught our eye from the beginning - come on, it's on fire! And the Matcha/Beer combo was too unique to pass up.

So, congrats again to everyone who took the time to enter this little contest! You all really have worked hard and put a lot of effort into Movember. Don't worry too much about not making it to the finals, you've done more than enough by raising awareness and money for men's health! Plus, we're already planning next year! And you should be too!

As for the finalists, we will be baking your cupcakes throughout this weekend. We're bringing in a team of professional cupcake-testers who will be judging each manly morsel by taste, uniqueness, manliness, and overall design. We'll only be recreating the taste - the pictures and blog post you've sent in will take care of everything else. Until then, Alyssa, Susan, and Ashley, please proudly display the following badge on your blog:


Now we're off to bake. A lot. Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Muffins

Check out this year's Manly Cupcake Challenge Round-Up and Vote for your Favourite! You have until Saturday!

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I'm sitting here in my own cocoon made out of blankets, socks, and sweatshirts. Snow flakes have been pelting the windows since six this morning. It's been a constant -3°C for weeks. Vancouver is not a happy city right now. Yes, I know. We're Canadian, right? We should be living in igloos and driving snow-dogs to work.  Wrong. Vancouver is totally Canadian Winter Light. We usually get a couple gallons of freezing rain, maybe a couple days when the thermometer hits below zero. But not this much snow at once. The highway right next to my house have been squealing with panicked drivers for the past couple hours. As soon as they see a bit of white stuff, breaks start locking and vehicles start careening off the road. 

I'm totally over this winter stuff. I grew up in Ontario, where our seasons consisted of blizzards for six months, then a hellish heat for other six. I was used to waking up with snow completely covering my bedroom window. Even when my bedroom was on the second story. I thought I would be safe from it in Vancouver. But, by the looks of it, I was totally wrong. The fact that Toronto was 13°C yesterday really rubbed salt in my wounds. 

I have been looking for a recipe that will help me get out of this beginning of December funk. I'm already tired of looking at cookie and pie recipes (thanks mostly to all that American Thanksgiving crap that floods our Canadian airwaves). I needed something that reminded me of summer vacation. A warm summer vacation. In Europe. Accompanied by beautiful men. With beautiful Mos. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Movember Manly Cupcake Round-up

Welp, the time is finally nigh. We've been sent some real bodacious baked goods that any mo-wearing brother would really sink their teeth into. Now it's up to you, the cupcake-loving public, to vote for your favourite recipe. Remember, we're looking for something extra special. Something that's full of flavour, character, originality. Oh, and manliness.

A reminder to how the final voting works: You, the people, can vote for one cupcake each. The bakers will also vote by email, and will choose a cupcake recipe (that's not their own) to be the Baker's Choice. Finally, Mr. C and I will choose a third cupcake to battle in the final showdown, which will take place next weekend.

So, take some time. Read through the contenders. And get with the voting!

Chocolate Stout Sponge Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream, Crushed Pretzels, and a Chocolate Ganache Drizzle.


Rich moist chocolate cupcake infused with Guinness Beer and filled with a rich chocolate bacon filling. We topped it off with a chocolate butter cream frosting and a sprinkling of crisp bacon.


Pancake Cupcakes with a Maple Buttercream, topped with Crispy  Bacon.

by Ashley from Sugar Comma
In the cake and the custard filling, brown sugar and nutmeg enhance the flavor of a sweet, malty brown ale. The filled cupcake is topped with caramel buttercream and a homemade soft pretzel.Biting into one of these cupcakes is like tackling two decadent treats at once: a delicious soft pretzel with a caramel dip plus a custard-filled brown ale spice cake.

by Kristina of Eats n Drinks
Waterloo Dark chocolate cupcakes, with Waterloo Dark frosting, covered with black chocolate fondant, decorated with white royal icing to look like gear shift knobs. 

Violet and Ryan from Baking Under the Influence
Dry and Strong. Cigars and Scotch. Men and Humor. All these things go together and it is what was brought together to make "The Ron White". Comedian Ron White is hardly ever seen on stage without a cigar and a glass of scotch and we play off that image to create our Movember Manly Cupcake. Cigar City Beer's Humidor Series IPA is paired with a dark and dry chocolate to create a savory, yet slightly savory cupcake. To top it off, we created a caramel scotch frosting, that still retains it's familiar burn. This cupcake is all that is modern man.   

Vegan Peanut Butter Cupcakes with a Pretzel Crust, Chocolate Center, and Caramel Buttercream Frosting.

by Susan from Diamonds for Dessert
What's manlier than throwing around a football, grilling some meat, and chugging a beer? Put all of that in a cupcake and you've got beer spice cupcakes topped with matcha beer frosting, football cake bites, and cookie grills that really light on fire. 

by Alyssa from Artistic Eatables
A black and white themed cupcake, featuring a moist marble cake and light yet sweet frosting. Each is decorated with boots or facial hair in honor of the Woodshed Prophets, a alternative country rock band with a serious dedication to beards.

by Cat of SuperCat
Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with a Chocolate Icing and extra Bacon Crumble on top

A super big thank you to all our amazing contestants for taking the time to support the Movember Foundation and men's health! This really wouldn't have been successful without all of you! 

A reminder that the winner of this contest will be receiving some super sweet stuff. Check it out:
Are you excited? Because I'm pretty sure I just peed myself a little. 

Now Vote! You only have until the end of the 26th!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Southern Coconut Cake

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A lot of treats we've baked up this Movember are full of deep, dark flavours - like beer or chocolate. This was a problem. Yes, those flavours are tasty. And yes, they are quite manly. But what about (gasp) the men who aren't so attuned to those sort of baked goods? Mr. C is not a chocolate guy. Bizarre, I know. He'd rather eat a berry pie than a chocolate chip cookie. So, does that mean something light and fruity can be considered manly? All signs (and Mr. C's awesome mo) point to yes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Manly Cupcake Challenge Update


Hey sports fans! I've got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that, so far, we only have a handful of entries for the Manly Cupcake Challenge. Though that does bode well for those who have entered thus far (the odds are with you, my friends), it's not so good for our ultimate goal of spreading awareness of the Movember Foundation and Men's Health Month. This is why we've decided to push back your cupcake due date to the 21st at midnight. That's right. Now you have the whole weekend to get your little procrastinating butt in gear. Aren't you lucky? If you were one of my students, I'd just give you a zero and call home. But I'm feeling kind of nice this month.

One more thing to mention - I'm seeing a lot of lovely cupcakes. But not a lot of variety. So, please, go crazy. Think of some famous mos for inspiration. What sort of cupcake would Hulk Hogan eat? Charlie Chaplin? Freddie Mercury? All of them are manly in their own way, so please just don't think you're stuck in a "slightly chubby, hockey watching,  male next door" rut. Take this contest and run!

Have any questions? Plan on making cupcakes and need advice? Want the meaning to life? Email and we shall answer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Manly Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Let's take another dip into the Movember pot with a mustache that is universally loved and revered. You've seen it everywhere - on your dad, on that Nascar guy, on those cops on that corner of Hastings. It's not a flashy mo, like the Dali or Walrus. Nor is it intimidating, like the Handlebar. It's just simply . . .

 The Chevron. 

In the mustache hierarchy, the chevron is a classic that is always a staple in a man's facial hair repertoire. Though it may look simple, this mo is more complex than it looks. Men must tease the hair over-top of their upper lip - anything shorter is considered a failure. Boy, the things a man does for mustache superiority -  could you image eating with that thing? Talk about your flavour-saver, dude. I bet Tom Selleck grew used to tasting breakfast while he was eating dinner. You could keep extra ice cream and cookie crumbs in there for weeks. 

Speaking of cookie crumbs, we've got a treat for you that really will get your Chevron bristling:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Manly Stinky Cheese Cake

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Since it's Movember and all of you peppy people are baking some freakishly manly cupcakes for the Manly Cupcake Challenge, we thought we'd help you out by providing you with a bit of inspiration. So, all this month, we hope to share some wonderfully butch recipes that really represents a classic Mo. This weekend, we want to pay tribute to the Canadian Grandfather of all Mos:

The Voyageur

In case you're a little rusty on your Canadian history (I'm looking straight at you, America), voyageurs were real rough-and-tumble manly men who made lumberjacks look like girl scouts. These French Canadians traveled thousands and thousands of miles throughout the provinces and were expected to work at least 14 hours a day, paddle 55 strokes per minute, and carry at least 180 pounds of pelts and goods across rugged terrain. If Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bear Grylls had a child, it may just be awesome enough to become a voyageur.

So what cake could be manly enough to satisfy the intense appetite of a voyageur? It had to have that same spirit which can only be found within Quebecois cuisine. When I think of Quebecois cuisine, I think of two things:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Movember Charity Update


Good news, my peeps! The Movember Manly Cupcake Challenge now has an official Movember Charity Page. That means you can donate your sweet sweet cash straight to the Movember Foundation as easy as pie. Mustache pie.  

I'm also going to encourage every baker who enters the Challenge, as well as any other baker who wants to go out and raise funds, to join our team (you can do so here). So, in-between your butch cupcaking, go out and raise (or donate) some funds! 

Remember, though it's all fun and games to grow mos and bake cupcakes, this month is really about raising money for men's health charities. Donate what you can - even one dollar helps! Let's get crackalacking! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Movember Manly Cupcake Challenge

Prostate Cancer has no ribbons. Testicular Cancer has no large walks for charity. They have no pink shoelaces, pink hockey sticks, or pink fire trucks. Lets be honest, they really don't get as much attention as their female counterparts. I guess no one wants to think of testicles when they're buying yogurt or gym clothes. This is unfortunate. Prostate Cancer occurs in every 1 in 6 men in Canada, but it receives less than half the research funds that are available to Breast Cancer. Now, I love boobies. I have a pair of them myself. But this imbalance of funds and public exposure is a bit odd to me. Every woman knows they should go for mammograms and pap smears, but does your male counterpart know how to check himself for testicular cancer? 

The Movember Foundation has made a move to really make the public aware of male health issues that have remained in the shadows for way too long. Started in 2003 by a bunch of soused Australians, Movember is an annual month long celebration of the supreme symbol of manliness - the mustache. During November, men from all over the globe dedicate themselves to growing an awe-inspiring mo' while raising funds and awareness for all men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and male depression. 

Wonderful idea. But I have a wee bit of a problem with it. I can't grow a mustache. I'm sure I could pull off a wicked uni-brow if I lost my tweezers , but I do not have the power to produce a mo. But I do have the power to bake a sweet-ass cupcake.

This is why C&C Cakery has decided to run a cupcake contest for this awesome month. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to:

Yay Pumpkins!

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Hope you have a spooky Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Winner, The News, and The Announcement

Once again, I found myself without my bag of nerd dice - so random.org will just have to do:


Congrats to Kriss! Your last minute entry paid off big time! A big box full of spooky goodies will be sent to you as soon as you email us at cccakery@gmail.com with your address and full name. Tout suite, please! We want those cookies to make it to you before Halloween!

Some more news for everyone - Voting for this month's Cupcake Hero and Mystery Box are open now. Both the Dead Elvis and the Candied Yam Cupcakes are in the mix, so go on over and check everything out.

Finally, we have something super exciting going down behind the scenes here at C&C. We'll be unveiling a new annual contest in the start of November. I can't tell you exactly what's happening, but I can give you a bit of a clue. Meet our new little friend:
Any guesses?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Dead Elvis Cupcake

DeadElvis (4)

Okay. Let's admit it. Halloween is totally just for kids. It's gives them a chance to dress up like their favourite superhero and/or princess and freak out after eating their body weight in sugar. Good for them. They need a holiday to cut up the long stretch to Christmas. Let's let them have it. I'm totally talking to you, Ms. Dress-up-as-a-slutty-nurse/police officer/ninja turtle. Just take your brewskies and walk away.

Halloween for us adults should be more refined. I know, it's hard to let go of your childhood. You can still dress up, if it makes you feel better. Just not as a sexy ninja turtle, please. Around here, we take our celebration inspiration from down south. Way down south.

Dias de los Muertos takes place shortly after Halloween. If you've never heard about it, you're totally missing a party, dude. It gives us a chance to honour those who have past on into the other realm - and to feast, drink, and make really wicked sugar skulls. What's not to love?


DeadElvis (8)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Cookies 2010 (and a Giveaway!)

The air is crisp. The leaves are changing. Large orange pumpkins are popping up in the farmer's field. Kids start trouncing around in batman or ninja turtle outfits. You've already sucked down that 150 pack of kit kats. And, one dark and stormy night, the Mistress of the Dark suddenly appears on your TV.


Oh yes. Halloween is back, baby. It's time to start sending out this year's Halloween Cookie Boxes. We've got lots of lovely treats for you, including:

Homemade Butterfinger Skulls
White Chocolate Nutella Skulls
Peusdoreos
Hag's fingers
Black and White Candy Cornies
Cobweb Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These treats will be sent out across the US and Canada starting next week. Here's your chance to get in on the sweet sweet action. To spread the spookiness, we'll be sending out a box to one winner. All you have to do is make sure you follow us and leave a comment telling us about your favourite Halloween costume. Batta-bing batta boom! We'll announce the winner on Friday so we can send the box o' goodies out to you before the big day. 

Good luck! And may Elvira be with you!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yam Buttermilk Pie

You've just created an amazing and unique cake. It took a lot of time and effort, but it's worth it. Your friends and family rave about it. Your grandmother asks for the recipe. You get a bazillion hits on your blog. The world thinks your a genius. 

But they don't know your secret shame. Your own personal nightmare. Every time you open up that fridge, you are haunted. Ingredients from recipes past are shoved into the back corner. It's a horrific food mausoleum. What ever are you going to do with those maraschino cherries, that quarter cup of heavy cream, and that bit of old fondant? You close the door and forget about it, but the skeletons keep piling up in your cold closet. You've got to end this never ending cycle. There is only one thing that can help you now. 

yambuttermilk (18)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Candied Yam Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving! No, I don't have my calender all screwed up - today is, in fact, Thanksgiving. Sorry, America - all the turkeys and pies and pilgrims in the world don't belong to you. Canadians have been celebrating since 1879. Actually, when you think about it, October 11 makes a bit more sense for a holiday celebrating a good harvest. I mean, who's still picking corn and pumpkins in late November? Plus, sometimes the Thanksgiving roulette falls on my birthday - which stunk when I lived in New England. While I was concerned with cake and presents, everyone else had stupid little turkeys on the brain. Not even tofurkey - plain old meaty turkeys. Ew.

There is one thing about Thanksgiving I can get behind, though. Pie. Especially of the squash and nut variety. Pumpkin and pecan are my favourites - I cannot get enough of them this season. Lately, though, I've been trying to experiment. Butternut and acorn squash pies are amazing this time of year. I also delved into my Canadian heritage and looked into butter tarts (which, if you haven't experienced, it is a must). This year, however, I took a note out of an American thanksgiving cookbook.


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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Get-Ready-For-Halloween $60 CSN Giveaway Winner!

I left my nerd dice in my classroom this weekend (math is much more fun with dodecahedrons), so random.org will have to do:


Congrats to Sourkraut! I hope you buy something neat with this to help you prepare for the upcoming fall season! Send us an email and we'll help you on your way to a CSN shopping spree.

Speaking of the fall season, our Halloween cookie boxes will be ready to order after Thanksgiving (Oct 11 for you Yanks!). Drop us an email if you're interested (or just intrigued).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

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I am a Canadian. I am proud of our socialized medicine and our Charter of Rights of Freedoms. I pay 12% taxes on everything (PST, GST, HST) and I do it with a grin. Yes, we do have a conservative federal government - and I'm not proud of that - but at least we don't have all those crazy Tea-Baggers running around.

America's Republican Party absolutely intrigues me. It was founded in 1854 on one simple platform: to stop the spread of slavery into the western territories. Now, last time I checked, that's not such a big hot-button issue anymore. So why is the GOP still around? (Of course, you can say the same thing about the Democrats, who were founded on the platform that Alexander Hamilton was a big D-Bag).

Enough of the history lesson. To be honest with you, I'm babbling because I've got some real guilt issues going on. I made some cookies the other day. The recipe came from a pretty prominent First Lady. A pretty prominent Republican First Lady. Doesn't seem so bad, I know - but I'm a pretty left-wing Canadian. I'm talking NDP left-wing. And this particular Republican First Lady was married to a pretty infamous Republican President. Now, this certain Republican President is not a bad man. I would totally have a brew or two with him. He was just . . . special . . .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Get Ready For Halloween with $60 from CSN!

Sorry kiddies, the contest is over! Stay tuned for more giveaways soon!

We go a little ga-ga for Halloween. Well, I go a little ga-ga for Halloween. My planning begins in August - I have to make sure everything is ready way before October even begins. Costumes needs to be established before Value Village is completely picked over. Baked goods need to be prepped so we can get out cookie boxes out into the world well before the big day. Decorations for our house need be at the ready because, after Canadian Thanksgiving, this place needs to be channeling the Adams Family.

Okay, I go a bit crazy when it comes to decorations. Last year, after moving to our new apartment, we had nothing but a skeleton to put up. So depressing. This year will be different - I've been collecting decorations all through the year. Almost enough to get the right spooky atmosphere that I'm going for. But I don't think Mr. C would like if I changed our curtains into black lace and covered our couches with orange and purple fabric. I was even on CSN, looking at black dining sets. Ours is way to Ikea-cookie-cutter to be scary.

I think Martha gives me some unrealistic expectations. I mean, look at this table setting:


Amazing. But realistic? Maybe if I had unlimited time and money. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Well, we can't help you with the unlimited time thing, but C&C and CSN are partnering up again to give you $60 to help you make your house a little more spooky. Or, you know, to replace that broken blender. But make sure you buy that black blender.

Here's how you enter:

1) Leave us a comment telling us how you prepare for Halloween. Do you set up a Haunted House for the kids on your street? Do you make a really gory costume? Do you set up your table just like Martha does?

2) You must follow us to qualify for the giveaway. Click on the little Google Follower button on the right hand side, and Bob's yer Uncle.

3) For a second entry, tweet this message: "Check out @CCCakery 's Super Spooky CSN Giveaway:  http://tinyurl.com/2bakv4j " then leave me a separate comment here telling me you've done so.

4) I'll be rolling my nerd dice once again on Sunday, October 3 in order to pick a winner. That means all comments must be entered by midnight on Saturday.

Good luck, all you ghouls and ghosties!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tiger Tiger Cupcakes

I grew up in Hamilton. Yeah yeah, I've heard it all before. You can go ahead and pity me if you'd like - everyone else seems to. I don't mind. The thing is, growing up in Steeltown is not too bad. In fact, some of the best memories I have took place around that city: Getting pipping hot fries straight from the fry truck and eating them right under the power lines, catching buckets full of fireflies on a steaming hot summer night, crying tears of joy with the rest of the town while we watched the Leafs squeak into the playoffs.

That last one is a little sad, seeing as we always ended up crying tears of remorse when the Leafs eventually lost in the playoffs. You may not know this, but Hamilton is really not known for their stellar sports teams. The Bulldogs do well, though I always thought they did better while they were still the Canucks. The Blue Jays had quite the hay-day when I was growing up, but I think they may go the way of the Expos sooner than we think.

Finally, there's the Tiger Cats. The CFL's little joke. But, if you were born and raised in Hamilton, you are required to love them. Even after a ten game loosing streak, we would all go down to the local creamery joint and watch the game together over a big bowl of Tiger Tiger ice cream. It's a favourite around Ontario - I even managed to find some out in western Canada - but some of you Yanks may not know what you're missing. Picture a creamsicle, then shove some black licorice strings in the middle. You've got yourself Tiger Tiger. May seem weird, yes, but I promise you, it is amazing. I still have cravings every year during the end of football season. Instead of running around looking for a carton, though, I've decided to start making cupcake versions of the Hamilton treat. The recipe I've developed tastes just like the ice cream. Dare I say, it tastes better than the ice cream.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Amp'd Up Coconut Cupcakes

Why hello there! It's been a while since we've chatted, eh? Well, let me tell you my sob story - I get up for work at 6am, try to stuff knowledge into children's heads for a while, then fight Vancouver traffic in order to make it home at 6pm. After that, I just want to  shovel food into my pie-hole and go to bed. Before I'm able to do that, however, I've got to make up lesson plans and worksheets for the next day. Boy oh boy, do I ever long for the weekend. No, nix that. I long for the energy to make it to the weekend.

At this point, most people would reach for our dear little friend. No, not that box of merlot. Perish the thought. I'm talking about good ol' fashioned caffeine. Admit it, you can't get through the day without that Double-Double from Tim Hortons. Yes, it's extremely crappy coffee. Yes, it tastes like watery dirt. But, gosh darn it, it's water dirt with caffeine mixed in it. I'm not a coffee person, though. Nor am I a tea or soda pop person. I suffer through the day without the help of the big C. I have vowed never to become a slave to the stuff - of course, we'll see how long that lasts now that I've got a 6 to 6 job.

There is one caffeinated drink that absolutely fascinate me - energy drinks. Why oh why would people willingly put that stuff into their body? Have you read the label on one of these things? They actually have to put labels on it, warning people that drinking more than one a day is a health risk. In yet . . . in yet . . . I'm absolutely intrigued with them. How do they pack so much caffeine in that skinny little can? And what in the world does all that concentrated caffeine taste like? More importantly, can it be made into a cupcake.

Why yes. Yes it can.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Whatever you do, do not make these cookies.


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Yes, they look crisp and tasty (they are) but inside of each one lives horrible creatures. One that will make your life a living hell - or at least put a small damper on your day. I'm talking about the dreaded poppy seed.

We've all been there. Before that big conference or big speech or big make-out session, we get a little nervous. In order to settle down our nerves a bit, we head by the local coffee shop to pick up some caffeine and sugar goodness. For some reason, the poppy seed muffin always seems like a fine choice at the time. It looks "healthier" than those cookies or scones - plus, it's hard to wrong with a lemon flavoured baked good, right? WRONG. You know how you can go wrong with a lemon flavoured baked good? By putting poppy seeds in it. Then, every time you smile, every time you breathe, those little black specks are everywhere. They hide in the crooks of your mouth until the right moment then - BAM! - millions of them jump right in between your two front teeth. So much for that big conference / big speech / big make-out session. You've been poppy-seeded. And there's no way to recover from that.

These cookies are far more dangerous than their muffin counterparts - the ratio of seed to flour is much much higher. Plus, they're way more addicting, meaning that you may accidentally down a couple dozen before your dentist appointment. I promise you, your hygienist will never be the same after that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bat Out of Hell Cookies

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Have you ever come up with an idea that is truly awe inspiring? An idea that is so ahead of it's time and so amazing that you wonder why no one has thought of it before? You know why no one has thought of it before? Because it's probably pretty stupid. I have come to the realization that the majority of my genius ideas fit into this category. Frankly, they're dumb. Unrealistic and dumb. But, for whatever reason, I think they're the best ideas ever and I have a hard time swallowing the fact that all these great thoughts floating around in my head are all duds.

For instance: spherical pies. No, it's not like two pies glued together to form some weird type of pop tart. It would be completely round and full of filling. Back in the day, I thought this was ingenious. What could be better than a large,  soccer ball-like pie? Nothing. Nothing could be better than that. The mechanics of eating such a monstrosity was completely lost on me - how would one serve a spherical pie? - but I needed to create it.

Ten years later (still no spherical pie) I've continued my descent into baking madness. My latest plan was to produce and market cookies inspired by aging rock stars of the 70s and 80s. No, I have no idea where this began, nor why I thought this was a good idea to begin with. But, months ago, I was positively inspired by it all. Think of the possibilities: Tesla's "Modern Day Cowboy Cookies", Twisted Sister's "We're Not Going to Bake it", The Stone's "Brown Sugar Cookies", and (my personal favourite) Queen's "Biscotti Rhapsody". Yes, now that I look back at it, this is all very silly (unless a cookie marketing agency would like to contact us and tell me otherwise). I actually went through with one of the recipes a couple of weeks ago.
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