One Last Taste for 2011 | Egg Nog Cupcakes













2011. A year filled with a few ups, many downs, and lots of in-betweens. I feel a buzz of excitement for the fresh start that the new year will bring. But first, one final recipe for 2011. I made these cupcakes for dessert on Christmas Day, and they were a much bigger hit than I expected. I wanted to use up the last of the egg nog in my fridge, so I thought I’d make these once more for a New Year’s Eve party that I’m heading to tonight. They really are delicious.

























My brain is filled with many words, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Thank you my dear readers – friends, family, and strangers who come here for a little peek into my kitchen – without you, this blog would be nothing. From my heart to yours, I wish you all the best in the coming year. Cheers to happiness, love, adventure, and much more in 2012!

Much love,














Egg Nog Cupcakes (adapted from the always lovely Annie’s Eats)

For the cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 cup dark rum or bourbon

1 cup egg nog

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar (or plain vinegar)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

For the icing:

1 cup of butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups icing sugar

Pinch of nutmeg

2 1/2 TBSP. egg nog

1 TBSP. dark rum

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count muffin tin with liners of your choice. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and whisk together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining ingredients, and beat until well-mixed. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for about 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the icing: Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add in the icing sugar and nutmeg, and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the eggnog and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Finally, add in the rum, and mix on low speed until blended.

Use a pastry bag to decorate the cooled cupcakes, or spread the icing on with a knife. For an extra special garnish, poke half a cinnamon stick into each iced cupcake, and/or sprinkle with nutmeg. Store uneaten cupcakes (not that you’ll have any) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.













PS. Just stating the obvious here, but…maybe I’ll be a cupcake decorator in my next life.

The In-Between | Cranberry Egg Nog Scones


How goes it boys and girls? Did you have a magical Christmas? Did you eat way too much and drink to your heart’s content? Did you get way too little shut-eye over the past few days? Are you totally bummed about going back to work tomorrow? I sure did, and I sure am. Alas, the party must go on.

And there will be another party in, oh…about 4 days. So let’s take a moment to relax and recuperate, shall we?

Yesterday, I took a day for myself. I allowed myself to be a sloth-like couch potato. I didn’t shower. I wore my comfy clothes. I ate dessert for dinner, and dinner for dessert. I watched a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives marathon. Which just made me crave poutine and cinnamon-bun french toast, by the way. I probably lost a few brain cells, but they’ll grow back…right?

But the craziest part? I felt bad about it. I felt guilty for being a couch potato when I should have been cleaning, working out, organizing that dang room, and the list goes on. Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. But the reality is, there will always be something that needs doing, and unless we press the pause button every so often, we will miss out on opportunities for rest, relaxation, and being kind to ourselves.

This morning, I woke up after a refreshing 8-hour sleep, I went to a hot yoga class, and then I let the rest of my day carry me where it wanted. I put the to-do list away. And clearly the day wanted me to exercise my baking muscle because these scones were born. I had a bag of fresh cranberries in my fridge that I threw into my basket on a whim last week, mostly because they were ridiculously cheap. I also had a carton of egg nog hangin’ out in there. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of egg nog. I like to have a token Egg Nog and Rum (or two) each Christmas, but that’s about all I can handle. Which leaves me with a little too much egg nog on my hands. However, after making a batch of these scones, it might not be enough.

Cranberry and Egg Nog Scones

I love how these scones turned out. They were incredibly light, and honestly, if you weren’t told that there was egg nog in them, you might not be able to guess that it was in there at all. The next time I make these (and there will be a next time), I will add in the zest of an orange – I think it would compliment the flavors so well.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oats

1/3 cup + 2 TBSP. organic cane sugar

1 TBSP. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped

1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

3/4-1 cup egg nog

1 egg white + 1 tsp. water, whisked

Extra sugar for sprinkling on top of scones

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the flour, oats, sugar (reserving the 2 TBSP.), baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender (or two knives) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, combine the cranberries and the 2 TBSP. sugar and toss to coat. Add in to the flour mixture. Slowly add the egg nog to the flour mixture, using only enough to bring it all together. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle, about 3/4 inches thick. Cut into 8 pieces, and place them on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Brush them with the egg white/water mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Enjoy immediately!

%d bloggers like this: