Monday, June 28, 2010

Whack-A-Mole Cupcakes

In our city, you know summer is just around the corner when our local amusement park opens up. It's nothing like Disneyland or Universal Studios or Walley World - it's small, compact, and has no giant animal mascots running around. Vancouver's Playland does boast an ACE Coaster Classic named, of course, "The Coaster". This beast may not look like much, but the last time I road it I came back with bruises, butterflies in my stomach, and the insane need to do it again.

Playland opens up in April, but summer in the city really gets rolling when the PNE officially opens it's doors. The Pacific National Exhibition is an urban county fair - you can buy deep fried chocolate bars, seven different types of things on a bun, and one of those Shamwows. It has horses, cows, ducks, and super dogs. It is also a place for our giant mainland community to come together and give back - because, lets face it, we're usually too busy sipping on our five dollar cups of coffee and arguing about the Olympics to think about people in need. Luckily, the PNE is host to the Vancouver chapter of Canstruction - a competition where teams gather canned goods and build giant sculptures that fill up the main lane within the PNE. When the Exhibition comes to a close, every sculpture competing donates their construction material (aka thousands and thousands of canned goods) to local food banks. Each sculpture brings in an average of $12,871.05 worth of food to these charities.

Pretty neat, huh?

A local company (that big one that keeps your lights going) contacted C&C to help with fundraising for their own Canstuction team. Their sculpture's theme is, of course, top secret, but they're muse lives within the PNE's arcade games. So, taking that as our inspiration, we whipped up six dozen Whack-A-Mole themed cupcakes:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Healthy Muffin Duo: Pumpkin-Quinoa and Coconut-Banana

We make a lot of cupcakes around here. And cookies. And things involving marshmallows, chocolate, and/or a variety of sugars. Yes, we admit that sometimes we need to take a little break. I fully believe that, while I'm baking, butter particles in the air get sopped up through my skin. Understandably, after baking dozens and dozens of cupcakes this week, I'm feeling a bit . . . weighed down.

Mr. C and I have another life outside of the baking world. We have, dare I say it, pretty healthy eating habits. I'm a vegetarian who would eat chickpeas and green things for every meal if it was socially acceptable. My better half would be happy eating dahl for the rest of his life. We may have a cookie jar on our counter-top, but I always try and counterbalance the fat with something a bit more pleasant. The last couple of weeks have seen a large load of sweets coming out of our test kitchen, so I thought it was time to detox with some baked goods that left our tummy feeling more healthy and fulfilled. Yes, they may not be chocolate covered chocolate, but I think I love them just as much. If not more. The horror!

CoconutBanana (3)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cupcake Hero: June - Blueberry Roundup!

We had a couple lovely (and healthy! Gasp!) muffin recipes for you this Wednesday. Unfortunately, something went wrong in our test kitchen. Something went horribly horribly wrong.

It involved Swiss Buttercream. And it was not pretty.

photographic recreation

Anyway, both me and Mr.C got out alive (even if we were covered in frosting) and free to work another day - we've got a big order coming out for Thursday, and must once again venture into the test kitchen to finish what we had started. Hopefully with better results this time.

But, onto some better news - Remember those lovely Blue Pom-Poms we made oh-so long ago? Welp, Cupcake Hero: June has come to a close and voting has begun.

Check out Kitchen Koala's front page for the Blueberry Cupcake Roundup (there's some amazing entries this month) and the poll on the right hand side! Remember to vote!

Good luck to all the fantastic bakers! We'll see you again in Cupcake Hero: July!

And to our readers, we'll have a double shot this Saturday - I promise you both muffin recipes (as long as we've recovered from the Vesuvius incident by then).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hostess with the Mostess Cupcakes

Do you remember elementary school? Yes, I know it was a long time ago. Way back when Transformers weren't controlled by Micheal Bay and when the Smurfs were kinda lame, but definitely did not have their own 3-D movie coming out. It was a simpler time, for sure. All you had to worry about was your trapper keeper, your day-glow t-shirt, and whether or not your hair was crimped enough. And, of course, what you had for lunch. There was average fare - the pb and j, the cheese whiz, the bologna and butter- but what you really wanted lay deep inside your My Little Pony lunchbox.

Lunch-Dessert. It was usually pre-packaged. It was always dry. It probably could survive a nuclear holocaust. But, holy pete, did you ever love them.

My lunch box never contained Twinkies - I don't think I trusted them as a kid. Something about the unnatural log shape. I was a chocolate girl - I took after my Dad. So we both would choose those little devil food cupcakes as our after-lunch snack. The little white icing swirl and waxy chocolate topping would make us come running.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chocolate Cubed Cupcakes

We've been trying a lot of new recipes lately. In fact, I have a whole list of cakes and treats I want to work on in our test kitchen. There are twenty different cupcakes on that list alone - and that list seems to grow everyday (I blame all those amazing cupcake bloggers out there for over-inspiring me. Damn you and your shiny new recipes!).

But with all this hub-bub over Blue Pom-Poms and Maple Bacon monstrosities, I don't want to loose the flavours we started with - those original recipes that really gave us a proverbial baking-boner. So, I thought I'd take the time to spot light each cupcake that appears on our menu. We already took a look at our Rainbow Velvet (and even gave you our secret recipe, you lucky little buggers). This time, however, thing are about to get a bit more . . . sexy

ChocolateCubed (3)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fruit Tart Cupcakes

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know that our weather is a total crapshoot. I'm talkin' clear-blue-and-sunny-skies-in-the-middle-of-a-blizzard type of crapshoot (and, yes, I've seen it happen). This year, our calendars will say that summer starts on the 21st. Up here in good ol' Cascadia, however, we're not counting on it. We know that rain will most definitely get in the way. This is all very frustrating when you come from the land of heat and humidity - when I turned to June on the calendar, I always expected to be wearing my skirts and flip flops on day one. Over the years, I've slowly come to terms with the fact that, in Vancouver, this will never be the case.

We have had a few small bright spots here in Vancouver. At the moment, the sun is streaming through my window, hitting me directly in the forehead. How nice. How lovely. But, both you and I know that this won't last long. It looks like it's up to C&C to bring a little summer into our rainy days. And what better way to do that than with cupcakes?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip-Filled Melted Moment Cookies

Dear parents: Admit it. You have a favourite child. Yes, you may say you love all two or three of your munchkins exactly the same, but we all know that's a lie. One kid always tends to get a bigger slice of pie than the other. But, don't worry! We totally understand. It's the same for us at C&C. Yogurt is our star child: every cake it touches turns to gold. Marshmallow is that kid we love, but heaven almighty does it ever annoy the hell out of us (plus, it's always sticky). I'm not even going to talk about Icing Sugar. It's sort of the black sheep of the family.

Recently, we've adopted a new kid into our cookie family - her name is Cornstarch. She had me hooked when I first tasted the velvety texture of Alfajores. I now religiously bookmark any recipe that involves our new star child just so I work with that lovely silky taste again. The cookie recipe we've posted below is a great example of how cornstarch can really kick up a classic. Melted Moment Cookies come in many flavours, but we chose the Chocolate Chip-Filled variety as a starting point. Boy oh boy what a starting point.

CChipSandwich (3)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Blue Pom-Pom: Blueberry Pomegranate Cupcakes

Cupcake Hero is a fun little side project we always love to make time for. The last time we were able to compete was way back in October (you may remember our Pumpkin S'mores and Dias De Los Muertos Cupcakes). This month, we were lucky enough to have Dorothy from Kitchen Koala to take on the task of hosting Cupcake Hero. She decided to give June's cupcake a real summery feel and make the secret ingredient Blueberries!

Blueberries always tend to have the same partners in baked goods - lemon always tends to make an appearance, as do oats or other types of summery fruit. This was a problem for us. I absolutely love a good blueberry-lemon muffin, don't get me wrong, but that was too predictable for us. So, Mr.C and I wracked our brains - we even went to our beloved friends for new and different flavour profiles. Then inspiration hit:

BluePomCupcakes (2)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rainbow Velvet Cupcake

Happy Pride Month!

Rainbow (6)

Big beautiful rainbows have been popping up all over lately. Seattle Pride (our neighbour to the south) have just announced a fantastic Over the Rainbow celebration on the 27th. Our own city starts up it's Pride Season a bit later on, with the giant parade taking place in August, but why wait? I thought this would be a great time to share our Velvet Rainbow recipe.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

We bake a lot of cookies around here. Not just for our holiday boxes or for friends. Our cookie jar must be full at all times or the God of Baking becomes displeased (and by "God of Baking" I really mean the man of the house).

I try not to favour certain recipes over others. Though it may seem improbable, one can only have so many peanut butter chocolate chip cookies before wondering just what else is out there. Lately, I have become addicted to collecting cookie books and blogs, searching for that next recipe I can fool around with. I always have to find that shiny new recipe that puts a different spin on a familiar flavour combination.

This is one of those recipes.

oatmealcranberry (2)

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