Daring Bakers: Canadian Whoopie Pies

The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!” This month’s challenge was perfect for answering the question of what to make for holiday desserts. For some reason I never got onto the whoopie pie bandwangon so I was glad to give these a try and see what my family thought. Since we were encouraged to play around with
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Gluten-Free Fudge Cookies

This time, last year, I was just getting started down the Low-FODMAP road, trying to see how it might help (or not) my IBS. Considering it was the holidays, I was a little bummed about missing out on holiday goodies and picked up a copy of the Favorite Brand Name 3-in-1 Gluten-Free Cookbook at an overstock shop just to give some no-wheat baking a whirl. That book has become far more useful than its $6.99 price tag suggested, and inside were these instant-hit cookies that none of my friends could tell were gluten-free–always a good sign when you’re substituting ingredients!
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Recipe | Low-FODMAP Graham Crackers

If you follow this blog’s cocktail companion, Sips & Shots, you already know that this past Saturday was National S’mores Day, and since 1/3 (or maybe even a full half!) of a s’more is the graham crackers, what’s a low-FODMAPer to do but make their own! While I could look for a pre-existing gluten-free graham cracker recipes, I wanted to try the theory that my favorite flour blend would truly work in any given recipe. So I went with the first Google result: the Smitten Kitchen’s Graham Crackers. Did it work? In spades, my friends, in spades! Here’s my adaptation of
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AlcoHOLidays | National S’mores Day | One S’more For the Road

What’s the average lifespan of a s’more, you ask? Not very long I would think. Maybe just long enough for the melty marshmallow inside to cool down enough to prevent burning your tongue–because if you can’t taste the graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow convergence what’s the point. Popular at campouts and  bonfires, the earliest written record of a s’more is found in a 1927 Girl Scout camping manual. Since marshmallow sandwich cookies (like Mallomars and Moon Pies) were around 10 years earlier, it’s not much a leap to think that s’mores are a convenient take-off from those, right? But s’more “production” would have
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AlcoHOLidays | Cow Appreciation Day | Sweet Bessie Brown

So plenty of folks out there complain about manufactured holidays, especially those by corporations, often in a serious case of sour grapes. Well, today’s holiday appears to be 100% corporate but listen up: I. Don’t. Care. I don’t care that Chick-fil-A seems to a have thought up a cute, fun, customer appreciation idea that takes place on the second Friday of July: Cow Appreciation Day. (Please note: this is not a sponsored post. Neither I nor this post is affiliated with the Georgia-based company that is awarding free food to customers who arrive dressed not in their dignity but in cow costumes.) Frankly,
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AlcoHOLidays | Pina Colada Day | Van-Pina Colada

When I was very young and we lived with my grandmother, one of the many things I remember about her house was the wet bar in the living room. Tucked away to the right of the televisions and closed off by some bi-fold doors, I just thought (still think) it was one of the neatest things. And some nights my aunt would mix-up some pina coladas for the family and I would get my own (before the rum was added, of course) in a cute little glass that sort of looked like a miniature of those old fashioned sundae glasses.
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AlcoHOLidays | 4th of July | Patriot Punch

As promised, here is the second part of our 2-week Independence Day extravaganza! This week’s cocktail comes to us courtesy of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey (which we reviewed last month) and they are doing their level best to show us all the ways to include darker spirits in our summer entertaining. By combining the whiskey with juice and champagne is really a great way to lighten up a traditionally winter liquor. Kilbeggan Patriot Punch 2 parts Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey 1 part DeKuyper Apricot Brandy 1 part Cranberry Juice 2 parts Champagne Lemon Wheel (thinly sliced) To Serve As A Cocktail: Build all ingredients over
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AlcoHOLidayss | Independence Day | Cruzan Independence Sparkler

In honor of those founding fathers’ stand for freedoms from tyranny, we’re going to feature Constitutional cocktails for 2 weeks instead of 1. We’re going short and sweet without any preamble this week! Courtesy of our friends at Cruzan, today’s cocktail features two of their rums because, hey, twice the rum, twice the fun, right? Cruzan® Independence Sparkler 1 half of a Lime, cut into quarters 6 Basil leaves 1 Tbsp Sugar 1 oz Cruzan® Strawberry Rum 1 oz Cruzan® Aged Light Rum Soda Water Method: Muddle lime and basil with sugar in a tumbler. Add rums and ice, then
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AlcoHOLidays | Devil’s Food Cake Day | Cocoa Diablo

Does chocolate cake sound good to anyone else right about now? This coming Sunday, May 19, is National Devil’s Food Cake Day and I’m pretty much sold on the idea, truth be told. Might have to squeeze in some baking between appointments on Saturday. What makes Devil’s Food cake different from other chocolate cakes? Good question! Generally speaking (i.e., according to Wikipedia), Devil’s Food cake usually contains coffee and usually uses cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate for the primary flavoring agent. Of course it would have been super simple to construct a cake-sweet cocktail for today with chocolate vodka,
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AlcoHOLidays | Birthday Special | Pineapple Birthday Cake

Okay, okay, while not a holiday in the strictest sense, birthdays are very important points in our lives and everyone has one (whether they choose to celebrate it or not). Since my birthday is next week I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate with a festive cocktail reminiscent of a decadent birthday cake with a fruity filling. Pineapple Birthday Cake 2 oz Whipped Cream Vodka 1 oz Pineapple Juice 1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps 1/4 oz Amaretto Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice and shake to get the party started. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass
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