Egg Nog Cupcakes…and a surprise engagement.

egg nog, cupcakes, buttercream,

Two weeks ago I ventured to New York City with my best friend Denise for a quick 4-day vacation. NYC is by far my favourite city in the entire world. The hustle and bustle, lights, and delicious restaurants and bakeries on every corner is what I love most about the city. But after this latest trip, I have a whole new reason. On my last night in NYC, Denise and I ventured to Rockefeller Centre to see the infamous Christmas tree all lit up. Well, to make a long story short, it wasn’t lit up (apparently they turn it off at 10:30pm to conserve energy). I’m not going to lie – I was very disappointed. Mainly because I had been there for 3 nights already and this was my last opportunity to see the tree lit up before we departed the next day. While I was pouting and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make the most of the evening and take some photos of my surroundings.

30 Rockefeller Centre © 2012 Claudia's Cookbook. All Rights Reserved.

As I was taking the photo above of 30 Rock, I heard a very familiar (and male) voice. I turn around to see my boyfriend, whom I thought was back at home in Winnipeg, standing there in the middle of Rockefeller Centre with a bakery box in hand. After the initial shock of seeing him wore off, he tells me to open the box.Proposal cupcakes

A proposal to rival all proposals. I was speechless but had enough strength to say “Yes”. And how could I not – besides it being the most amazing proposal ever, those red velvet cupcakes were the most delicious I have ever tasted – thanks to Tribeca Treats!

In honour of the holiday season, and the most important day of my life thus far, I wanted to bake and share a recipe that I love this time of year. These Egg Nog Cupcakes are dense, moist and sweet. Also, how can you possibly say no to egg nog buttercream icing?! Even if you aren’t a true egg nog fan, you will enjoy these.


Danish Apple Bake


Time sure flies when you are busy. My personal goal with this blog is to connect and share a recipe once a week. When I realized it had been over 3 weeks since my last post, I realized priorities needed to be shifted and plans to bake needed to be made.

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while now. I received it a few years ago from a former boss of mine. She brought this delectable treat into the office one afternoon and I immediately fell in love with it. I had to have the recipe. She was gracious enough to type it out and email it to me that day. The crust is buttery and flakey and the filling is sweet with hints of cinnamon and baked apples. Perfect for autumn.


Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Icing

Oh how I love pumpkin! One of the only reasons why I look forward to autumn is the emergence of all things pumpkin in my baking repertoire and Starbucks menus. I’ve posted my fair share of pumpkin-filled recipes on this blog during the past 2 years. Pumpkin Scones, Cupcakes, and Creme Pies – heck even Claudia’s amazing Pumpkin Pie still could not fulfill my desire to bake with pumpkin! I wanted something easy. Something lighter but full of that rich flavour that reminds me of autumn so much. Enter these delicious Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies! They are like soft cookie pillows of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg with a sweet pumpkin-vanilla finish. Absolutely perfect for any autumn day.


Imperial Cookies (AKA: Empire Cookies)

The first time I had an Imperial Cookie (or Empire Cookie as they are also called) was when I worked for Starbucks while I was in university. We had an amazing local bakery supply all our pastries and it didn’t take much for me to fall in love with their Imperial Cookies. It has been a number of years since I worked for Starbucks, so I figured I would try to replicate one of my favourite cookies for the blog. This recipe is a hybrid between Canadian Living’s Classic Empire Cookie recipe and the amazing Anna Olson’s Empire Cookie recipe. I could not have been happier with the results. The cookies were soft, delicate and delicious. I also had the opportunity to use some of our newly made Raspberry Jam, which made these cookies even more delectable. Feel free to use homemade or your favourite store bought jam.


Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Today is National Cookie Day! Did you know that the English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word “koekje,” which means little cake? Neither did we. You can’t say you don’t learn something when you visit this blog!

Every year I sign up for Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies, where I am emailed a new cookie recipe every day from December 1 – 12. Seeing a new cookie recipe in my inbox makes me extremely happy. Not only does it allow me to try new recipes by celebrity chefs, it also gives me new ideas for my holiday baking. The recipe I am featuring for National Cookie Day is Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. I received this recipe on Day 3 of the 12 Days of Cookies. These beauties are soft, chewy and have the perfect mix of spices that make your taste buds dance. The brown butter icing on top of each cookie is also to die for.


Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake

Claudia is finally back from her 3-week vacation in the country. Just in time for her birthday. Last week, I posted my absolute favourite birthday cake that Claudia makes for me every year. With Claudia’s return and birthday looming, we figured it would be fitting to post HER favourite birthday cake.

Because I pride myself on being a good daughter, I asked Claudia upon her return from vacation last week what kind of cake she would like for her birthday. Not even a split second went by before she blurted out excitedly “Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake!”  Looks like Claudia prepared herself for this question and contemplated it quite heavily on the 5-hour drive back to the city!

Up until last week I had no idea what this cake was, let alone how to make it. So Claudia showed me her favourite recipe (a combination of two recipes – one consisting of a recipe card with ingredients written via typewriter and the other out of an old classic cookbook for the assembly and baking instructions). She wasn’t kidding around. A few days went by and I received a phone call from Claudia, insisting that she help me with her birthday cake. Yes folks, she wanted to make her own birthday cake.  Mother-daughter baking trust issues? Perhaps. Perfect opportunity for a blog post? Absolutely.


Pumpkin Scones

I realize that the spicy and savory taste of pumpkin is typically reserved for autumn when the weather becomes slightly cooler and you need something warm to pick you up – not when it’s +40 celsius with the humidity in August. As I mentioned in my last post, this is week two of Claudia being on vacation. This recipe is her most favourite that I bake and she requests it often. These scones are dense and almost exactly like the pumpkin scones you will find at your neighbourhood Starbucks. I was given this recipe from a friend of mine a few years ago. I’m actually not entirely sure where she found it, so I apologize if I’m not giving the proper recipe credits. In other words, please don’t sue me if this is your recipe. I’m just trying to be a good daughter, after all.