Friday, July 5, 2013

Mario Starmen Cookies

We've been busy little bees lately.

Remember all those times in Mario - it doesn't matter which one, you can pick - when your tiny little plumber man is on his last legs, being chased by turtles or venus flytraps or ghosts, and you're desperately trying to bash some bricks apart to find something that can help you? Those little mushrooms are great, they'll make you grow bigger, but Mario starves for more. More power. After wading through those bricks for what feels like hours, the star appears. You grab it. The music starts. And you feel like you can destroy the world. Because, lets face it, you can. 

That's what the last few weeks have felt like to me. Holy moly.

Lets do a little recap, shall we? First, we'll start with telling you about one of my favourite charity events, because it involves Mr. C and I running around Vancouver like complete idiots. Rush is an urban scavenger hunt and race around the lower mainland. We had to find ten secret locations, where players are challenged physically and mentally - this year these challenges included eating worms, heaved volleyballs at David Hasselhoff's face, and running doggies through an obstacle course. So much fun. The best part? Mr. C and I came in ninth. Holy moly again.

The best part of Rush this year was all the little video game references they threw in. They created a map of Vancouver that would be home in any 8-bit world. They let us have a "Player 3" - a Yoshi to our Mario and Luigi - who took part in an online scavenger hunt to help us out during the real thing. Best of all, this year they introduced the 1-Up - a sweet card that allowed the team to skip half a challenge. We won one - I won't tell you exactly what we had to do for it, but it involved pudding and Gangnam Style - and it really helped us through our adventure. 

The fundraising for this year is over, but Rushers have raised $60k to date for the BC Lung Association. We'll be kicking it Rush style next year as well - wouldn't miss it for the world.

If you're looking for some other video game charities you can throw your sweet sweet money at, we've always got recommendations for you. Here's a couple we've had on our scope for the last couple weeks:
  • Mario Marathon 6 - A group of gamers from Indiana play as many Mario generations as they can handle for your amusement. This year, they've raised $67k+ for Child's Play. The marathon is over now, but you can still donate via their page. 
  • Desert Bus for Hope 7 - Some awesome local BCers play the world's worst NES game ever. Their marathon starts up in November, but you can watch and participate in the Craft Along. All donations go towards Child's Play.
  • Hidden Heart Piece - Started in the summer of 2011, these Massachusetts boys marathon their way through Pokemon game after Pokemon game. This year they're raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Extra Life - Now you can join in on all the video game marathoning fun. Sign up, get pledges, and play until your butt falls off. Proceeds will benefit the Children's Miracle Network.  
If you have a favourite nerd charity, or if you are a nerd charity, drop us an email and we'd love to help out any way we can!

Charity work is a rush. If you're planning on helping out, you better take a Power Up.

Mario Starmen Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen star cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
Zest of one lemon
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
yellow food colouring
melting chocolate

1) In your mixer, whip together your butter and confectioners sugar until nice and fluffy. Add your zest, lemon juice, and vanilla, and continue to whip. Sift in your flour, cornstarch, and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until everything comes together to form a dough. Roll into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in your fridge for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out on wax paper until it's about a 1/4 inch thick and use your star cookie cutter. If the dough is a little sticky, then sprinkle it with a little flour or toss in the fridge for a bit longer. Bake your stars for about 10-13 minutes, or until the edges have just started to brown. Take out to cool before icing.

3) In a large bowl, mix together your 2 cups confectioners sugar, lemon juice, and food colouring until it's nice and thick. Dip your stars in, making sure to cover the tops, and set them down on a cookie wrack so that the excess can drip away. If you find your icing is too thin and it's not covering properly, add some more confectioners sugar. Let the cookies harden before melting your chocolate and drawing on eyes. Enjoy and become INVINCIBLE.

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