Happy 35th Birthday to the Dairy Farmers of Canada 100% Canadian Milk Calendar I was very pleased to be contacted by Beatrice from Trillium PR recently asking whether I would be interested in a basket of baked goods featuring recipes from the 2012 Milk Calendar. Without even needing to think about it, I agreed – first of all, my colleagues are always delighted to take baked goods off my hands and secondly, the Milk Calendar is one of my favourite items to receive in the paper. I have about 7 years’ worth of them stashed away because they always have such great recipes.
The first Milk Calendar, launched in 1974, was an instant hit with Canadian families. Originally printed on heavy paper and featuring eight new milk recipes, today’s Milk Calendar is a glossy, full-colour 13-month calendar with three times as many recipes – from main dishes and side dishes to soups, salads, appetizers, baked goods and desserts. Over the years, food celebrities and popular Canadian chefs including Bonnie Stern, James Barber, Anne Lindsay, Christine Cushing and Anna Olson have also helped produce themes and recipes for the Milk Calendar. Every year, all sorts of recipe ideas and food concepts for the upcoming Milk Calendar are put on the table. They’re found in restaurants, meals enjoyed, cooking shows, cookbooks, food trends… even previous Milk Calendar recipes, which they update with bold new tastes. Canadians depend on the Milk Calendar to provide quick, easy, nutritious and delicious recipes, which is why every Milk Calendar recipe can be ready in 45 minutes or less, include at least 1 cup of milk, and meet the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
My basket of goodies included an array of muffins and baked goods and the irresistibly named Gooey Cranberry Chocolate Squares… Uh, yeah, these unassuming little souls…
Ok, they may look kind of plain but were greeted with effusive “Oh. My. God.” claims from more than one of my colleagues. We love treats in my staffroom but these created a special kind of excitement. The kind that has people on gluten and dairy-free cleanses making exceptions. Yeah, these are THAT good. I am always dubious about claims of excellence in the brownie-area of baked goods but these, people are the real deal. Get your ovens pre-heated and bake these. Today.
A mixture of a shortbready base covered in a chocolatey-cranberry layer, these are crunchy and chewey and fudgey all at the same time. They were so good, in fact, that I eschewed my normal rule of downsizing every recipe I make to minuscule proportions and made a whole batch. Which, of course I shared with my colleagues. A number of people downed 2 of these before 8am (yeah, we start early at my school). They are SO good. People who don’t even really like dessert were coming back for seconds. Plus, they are made with Milk, right, so they must be healthy
If you need to bake for the holidays still, I urge you to bake these. Even if you don’t, you still need to make them. Your family and friends will thank you.
If you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or British Columbia, click here for details on how to order a calendar. Due to the overwhelming popularity of our Milk Calendar, ordering for Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador is now closed.
Disclosure: I received a basket of baked goods and a 2012 Milk Calendar courtesy of Trillium PR/ Dairy Farmers of Canada. I was not otherwise compensated for writing this post – making this recipe and writing about it was my own choice and opinions are 100% my own.