Christmas Goodies

Rum Gingerbread Christmas is almost upon us! I didn’t do any baking this year. None. Oh I had good intentions of making some goodies but time quickly got away from me.

I still have plans to make some quick snacks this Christmas and if you’re in the same boat, I do have a few suggestions!

Rum Gingerbread is easy to make and pretty tasty on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning.

Buttered Bourbon and Cider

If you’re looking for a drink to warm you up, how about some Hot Buttered and Bourbon Cider?

Christmas morning we always have a Breakfast Casserole.

Breakfast casseroleCheesy, eggy, and delicious! Prepped the night before and can be put in the oven first thing in the morning as you start opening presents.

Figgy Bourbon Refrigerator JamIf you need something sweet to go with an appetizer tray (and some brie!) or perhaps just something a little different for biscuits in the morning, Figgy Bourbon Refrigerator Jam is perfect.

Now I just have to decide what I’m making!




Peach and Goat Cheese Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’m not quite sure how I got the notion but the idea to create goat cheese cookies popped into my head and I could not leave it be.

I started dreaming of a lovely cookie that was sort of like a shortbread and sort of like a sugar cookie.

But with goat cheese.

Once the idea was there it was not to be ignored and I soon found myself in the kitchen making some cookies.

My idea worked and I was rewarded with golden cookies that are perfect with tea and as a late night little munch.

Considering I’m not a huge baker, I’m considering this a triumph!

Earlier this summer, I was contacted by Yagoot Frozen Yogurt Company asking if I would be willing to create a recipe using their yogurt.  Yagoot is based out of Cincinnati and also has a store in the Easton Shopping Center near Columbus, OH.

I knew right away that I wanted to make ice cream sandwich cookies using my new goat cheese cookie recipe.  I headed over to Yagoot in Easton to pick up some pints of frozen yogurt.  I spied the Summer Peach flavor and immediately knew I would be using that.

Andrea’s Goat Cheese Cookies

  • 4oz of Goat Cheese, room temperature
  • 4TBSP Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 3tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1C White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2C Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3C Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1tsp Baking Powder

In your stand mixer bowl, add in the goat cheese, butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat on low until everything is smooth and creamy.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add in the flours and baking powder.  Whisk until everything is blended and airy.

Put the stand mixer on low and slowly add in the flour mixture until everything is combined.  The dough should be a little stiff.

On a lightly floured surface, place dough and start to roll out into a log shape.  Roll it till it’s about a foot long and 1/2 inch in diameter.

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchement or silpat.  Slice the log into slices about a 1/4 of an inch thick.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies start to crisp up and brown on the edges.

If you can only fit one cookie sheet in your oven, place the remaining cookies back in the fridge until you are ready to slice and bake.

Allow about 4 minutes to cool and then serve.


Ice Cream Mixture:

  • 1/2 pint of Yagoot’s Peach Flavored Frozen Yogurt
  • 2oz of Plain Goat Cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 TBSP Organic Cane Sugar

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until the goat cheese is combined.

Sometimes goat cheese has a tendency to break down into little balls of goat cheese when it combines with something cool.  This is okay!


Assembling the Ice Cream Sandwiches:

  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper to line the cookie sheet

Scoop a little bit of the frozen yogurt onto a cookie and top with another cookie.  Gently press down and place the ice cream sandwich on the cookie sheet.

Repeat until all the frozen yogurt is used.  This will make between 8-10 sandwiches depending on how much frozen yogurt you use for each sandwich.

Work quickly because the frozen yogurt melts fast!

Once you’re finished, place the cookie sheet with the sandwiches in a freezer and freeze for at least two hours giving the frozen yogurt a chance to set back up.

Serve as a cool treat or a sweet ending to a summer meal!


The goat cheese freezes a bit when the cookies go back in the freezer and so you get little crunchy tangy bites of goat cheese while eating the ice cream sandwiches.

A great little summer treat with a twist!

Yagoot is graciously giving away a $20 gift card to readers of Food Embrace!  Keep in mind Yagoot is only available in Columbus and Cincinnati right now.  If you’d like to enter to win the gift card all you have to do is:

Comment, telling me what flavor if yogurt you’d like to try!

Contest ends on Friday, August 24th, at 5pm EST.  I’ll contact the winner by email so make sure you leave a valid email address in the comment!

WINNER: Random Number Generator picked Comment Number 3! The winner is Joe!  Thanks for commenting Joe!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!


Disclaimer: Yagoot Yogurt contacted me and asked me to create a recipe using their product. They supplied me with a gift cards in order to purchase the product and for supplies needed to create the recipe.

2011 International Blogger Cookie Exchange Roundup

Whew that’s quite the title! The day has arrived where we get a chance to look at all the lovely cookie recipes that were passed around for this year’s cookie exchange!

Please take a look at these links and have fun checking out all the cookies that everyone made!

Diana made Whiskey Molasses cookies, recipe by yours truly.

Rachel made pecan brittle bars.

Alyse made gingerbread cookies.

Jess made oatmeal cookies.

I made Italian Chocolate Meatball Cookies.

Also swing over to Lori’s site to see the rest of the roundup! She’s got a big list of recipes to share!

Thanks to everyone who participated this year! What fun to see all these cookies!

International Blogger Cookie Exchange 2011

Get excited all because it’s time to talk holidays! And we’re going to be talking about holiday cookies first!

My friend Lori, over at Fake Food Free has asked me to help her put on the International Blogger Cookie Exchange for this year!

Oh yes, it’s time to start planning our holiday cookies and holiday eats for the upcoming season. This is an extremely easy and low key event.  You will not be shipping cookies to someone, it’s a recipe exchange!

Here’s how it works:

Either let Lori or myself know by November 10th that you would like to participate, and you will be randomly paired with another blogger.

Each participant will create an original or an adapted holiday cookie recipe and send that recipe to the blogger that we’ve randomly selected for you. You must send that recipe via email by November 20th.

Once you receive a recipe we ask that you post about the recipe by December 11th. This means that you’ve created the cookie recipe and will be posting about the experience.

Lori and I will do a roundup of all the recipes so you know where all the cookies were baked and how all the cookies turned out.

We are aware that a few of you have dietary restrictions or allergies. When you receive a recipe you may alter it to fit your dietary needs, but please post the original as well. If you have any trouble altering a recipe feel free to contact Lori, at lori AT fakefoodfree dot com or Andrea at Andrea AT Foodembrace DOT com, for advice or suggestions.

The only guideline is that the recipe should be something you’d find on a holiday cookie plate, so anything from rugelach to alfajores to fudge squares to gingerbread men!

Just to recap, you’ll be doing three things:

  1. Send a recipe to another blogger.
  2. Make the recipe you get.
  3. Post the recipe and the cookies you made.

Important Dates:

Let us know you want to participate by November 10th.

Send your recipe to the blogger randomly selected for you by November 20th.

Post about the recipe you received from a fellow blogger by December 11th.

Doesn’t this sound like fun! It’s a great way to build up your cookie recipes and meet a fellow blogger!

Now let’s exchange some recipes!

Cheddar Chipotle Puffs

If you recall a previous post where I talked about Columbus’s Beer Family’s First Potluck, then you will remember that my contribution to the event was Cheddar Chipotle Puffs.

Cheddar Chipotle Puffs that were paired with Rogue Chipotle Ale.  Cleverness!

To briefly recap, the idea behind the party was to pair a craft beer with a food item that you made.  I really wanted to bring a Rogue beer since it fit the criteria of a craft beer and it’s also easy for me to get my hands on.  Then I had to decide what to pair it with.  Once I knew that I was going to use the Chipotle Ale then a dish utilizing chipotles was the obvious choice.

I didn’t want the chipotles to be too overpowering though.  They can really bring the heat and I wanted to keep the heat level moderate enough that you could tell it was there but it didn’t blow your socks off.

I decided to make little “puffs” because they are bite size and would be super easy to transport.  After a few tweakings I got the recipe down.  It is a food of love type recipe which means it will take you some time but it’s totally worth it!

Andrea’s Cheddar Chipotle Puffs

  • 2C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2tsp Baking Soda
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 2tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2C Water
  • 1/2C Light Olive Oil
  • 2 Chipotle peppers + 2 tsp of the adobo sauce
  • 1tsp Honey
  • 1C Grated Cheddar Cheese

In a large mixing bowl add in the flours, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika.  Whisk until combined.  Place mixing bowl in fridge.  Also in the fridge place the 1/2C of water and 1/2C of olive oil.  Allow to chill for at least half an hour.

Then add the dry ingredients to a stand mixer bowl.  In a food processor, add in the water, oil, chipotles with sauce, and the honey.  Pulse until the chipotles are broken down and fully incorporated into the wet ingredients.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients gently combining them all.  The dough will be dense and thick.  Once the ingredients are combined, add in the shredded cheddar until it is mixed throughout the dough.

Roll the dough out onto a flat surface sprinkled with flour and give it a few extra kneads.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for an hour or until it sets back up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silpat.  Remove from fridge and split dough into two parts.  One part goes back in the fridge while you work with the remaining half.  On a floured surface roll dough out till about a 1/4 of an inch thick.  Using a small round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut dough into several pieces.  Rerolling out the dough as needed.  You should get several puffs just from one half of the dough.  Place puffs on cookie sheet and they can be relatively close together.  They “puff” up not out.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  The puffs should be “puffed” and springy to the touch.  Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool.

Repeat with remaining half of the dough.

These are best served slightly warm but can be eaten at room temperature as well.  Depending on the size of the cutter you use will determine how many puffs you end up with.  I used a small biscuit cutter that was almost 2 inches in diameter which resulted in a ton of puffs!  YaY!

These puffs smell so so good as they are baking!  They are also mighty tasty too! Scott loved them and so did I.  These also freeze very well and can be pulled out when you want a quick snack or a quick appetizer for guests.

I also made these subbing in some spelt flour instead of the whole wheat and they worked just as well.  You can add more cheese if you like, just keep in mind that you want these to puff up, so too much cheese might inhibit that a bit.

Using cold ingredients helps make these puffs puff!  I have also made a batch with cold ingredients but did not put the dough in the fridge before rolling it out and baking.  It turned out alright and will work if you are short on time.  However if you have the time, allow the dough to chill for a bit first.  It makes the puffs a little more fluffy.

So how did these pair with the Chipotle Ale?  AMAZING!  A bite of puff followed with a swish of ale totally brought out the chipotle flavor of the ale a great deal.  The ale became spicy with some heat at the finish creating a very unique drinking experience.  Since the ale is cold, the spicy and heat give your taste-buds a sort of tingle that they weren’t expecting.

These little puffs are great for entertaining or bringing to your next potluck.  If you like savory flavors and cheese, you’ll love these!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Vanilla Cupcakes

Last month for Scott’s birthday we discussed what sort of special dessert/snacky thing he wanted.  A lot of ideas were tossed around and he finally decided on Cinnamon Vanilla Cupcakes.

Those were his exact words.

Dude.  I don’t even know where he pulled that from! But in this house, whatever my hunny wants is what he’s going to get.

I poured over some websites and several of my favorite cookbooks and came up with a game plan.

This is how I work. I review several recipes to get an idea of how something is done and then I make my own version.

I fully expect that everyone else operates this way as well.  In my head no one follows a recipe exactly, we are all just a bunch of Kitchen Rogues blazing a path with a chef’s knife in one hand and a kitchen blow torch in the other.

Or something like that.

Andrea’s Cinnamon Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1/2C Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4tsp Baking Soda
  • 2tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3TBSP Cane Sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3C Vanilla Soymilk + 1 TBSP
  • 2 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2TBSP Light Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk together until everything is combined and “fluffy” looking.  In a smaller mixing bowl, combine soymilk, vanilla extract, and olive oil.  Mix and then slowly add that to the flour mixture.  Gently stir the ingredients together.

Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Fill with cupcake batter about halfway full.  Bake for about 7-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool

Makes about 10 cupcakes.

These were my first attempt at vegan cupcake making (remember I prefer to bake vegan).  I’ve been making cookies and such for a while now so I figured it was time to branch out.  Good suggestion Scott!

Aside from the fact that these stuck to the liners a bit more than I would have liked, they came out totally awesome.  Due to the WW flour they are slightly denser than a regular cupcake but that’s okay because we like that taste.

We ate them unfrosted but you could totally top them with a chocolate ganche of some sort.  I’m still working on making a great vegan icing that doesn’t include a ton of powdered sugar and fake shortening (ew).

Hooray cupcakes!

Have fun guys and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!