Christmas Candy Cupcakes

XmasCandyCups Christmas is just over a few weeks away, and I've already started stressing about squeezing in all my favorite winter activities.  I missed the parade today, and it has me feeling anxious that I might run out of time.  Anyone else feel this way?

For us, Christmas will be broken into two parts - the time while we are in the city and the time where we return home to California. Both with have their perks.  I am in love with the glamorous idea of ice skating at the downtown rink by the art gallery and getting back to my roots at the German Christmas Market, both walking distance from our apartment.  It might even be my first holiday season with snow!  All the streets downtown are covered with white twinkly lights and I can feel the spirited energy of the hustle and bustle wherever I go.   I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I LOVE living in a city with little boutiques, cafes, the arts, and activities just steps away.  Can you even imagine doing Christmas shopping without going to the mall??!  This shall certainly be a year to remember.

Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without family and fun at my childhood home.  I am so thankful that we are able to travel back to California this year.  As much as I love the city, I crave the comfort of my parents' house and all of the traditions that remind me of Christmas past.  Christmas Eve Mass, presents in our pajamas, and searching for beautiful lights and decorations from the big, country homes nearby - these things really cannot be replaced.  I might not have my own kitchen to bake in or somewhere of our own to host the Christmas Eve dinner that my husband and I prepare every year, but I look forward to squeezing all of my loved one under the same roof for a few days.

XmasCandyCupcakes

XmasCandyCups

Speaking of running out of time, I have more ideas for cakes to bake and toppers to make than there are days left of this year.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to round out 2013 with some of my favorite show-stopping treats for you all.  Meanwhile, feast your eye on these Christmas Candy Cupcakes.  If you remember, I made some similar cupcake toppers for Halloween.  They were so fun to make, that I knew I would make more for the holidays.  I decided to use pink, green, and a bit of gold pastels for this year's color palette instead of the traditional red.  Edible glitter helps make the candies even more festive and whimsical.  My favorites are definitely the wavy ribbon candy.

XmasCandyCups

RibbonCandyCupcakes

These Christmas Candy Cupcakes (toppers only) can be found in my Shop.  Each set of 6 includes ribbon candy, a peppermint candy, candy cake, gumdrops, holly and berries, and a lollipop!  Please remember to place your order for these toppers and the popular Christmas Trees by the end of this week!

Note: for all my beautiful followers and clients from Sacramento, the ordering deadline may be extended if you'd like to arrange a meet-up while I am in town.

XmasCandyCups

A Sweet and Savory Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving lurks just around the corner, I've started gathering some of my favorite fall recipes to celebrate with. I have a few "go-to" dishes that I enjoy making every year (like my citrus-vanilla cranberry sauce), but I also love to explore new recipes- both traditional and contemporary twists on old classics. Since Thanksgiving in Canada is actually celebrated in October, I got a trial run for some of the new treats I plan on creating next week. My family is arriving from California tomorrow, just in time to share some delicious food, tradition, and great conversation. When it comes to the holidays, I find it helpful to really have a plan. There's a bit of stress involved whenever one is trying to feed a crowd, so I always try to plan the menu, grocery list, and prep schedule in advanced. And to be honest, I've been drooling over warm, cozy fall dishes since the end of summer. In addition to making my fave cranberry sauce and the promise of making pumpkin-gruyere-pecan foccacia for my father (recipe coming later this week), check out some of the recipes over at Foodie.com that I've gathered for consideration. Any guesses on what will make the cut this year?

Holiday Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake When I woke up this morning, it was officially cold.  Yes, I know I live in Canada, but the skies have been much more clear and sunny this fall than I would have ever thought it would be this season.  Until now.  It might have changed seasons overnight.  You can definitely tell that the holidays are just around the corner.

Since Thanksgiving is celebrated in October up here, it is fairly acceptable to be in full-swing Christmas mode already.  If you know me, the you know how much I LOVE the holidays.  I’ve decided to hold off the Christmas decor for another week or so, but you can sure bet I’ve already started with my holiday baking.  Although, I am sure that is pretty standard for most bloggers.

Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake

I decided to start the holiday season with this Winter Wonderland Cake.  The concept is fairly simple, yet striking at the same time.  I wanted to find a way to make the most realistic sugar “snow” bank.  Frosting already has a fluffy, flowy quality to it.  I wanted to play with its natural texture to create a soft bed of snow on top of my cake.  This cake was create with a basic meringue frosting (recipe at end of post).  Makes you want to just dig in, right?

This simple cake was also designed to show off the edible toppers.  I created an assortment of trees in various shades and sizes.  Each tree is hand- ruffled, some with edible glitter and some with gold details.  I even used silver dragees as ornaments.   The tree toppers are available in my Etsy shop.  They come in sets of three.  Be sure to message me what colors and detailing you’d like if you place an order.  The last day to place orders for the holidays will December 6th.  I’d love to see your versions of a Winter Wonderland Cake!

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Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake