Cooking with Cocktail Rings creator Kylie Mazon Chambers shared a couple of her favorite easy and cheesy appetizers to add to any holiday table this season.

PHOTO: Camembert with rosemary and garlic.
Cooking with Cocktail Rings
Camembert with rosemary and garlic.

Camembert with Garlic and Rosemary

This simple 20-minute appetizer from Chambers' book "Share and Savor" bakes into a gooey, creamy and dippable starter.

Start with a fresh round of camembert, cut cross hatch marks on top of the rind and insert thin slices of garlic and fresh rosemary tips into the cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Plate and serve with crostini or crackers.

Baked Goat Cheese in Marinara Sauce with Crostini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8


1 French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup marinara sauce of choice

6-ounce goat cheese log

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil, for garnish


Heat oven to 350 degrees (180ºC). Dip one side of the baguette slices into the oil and place on a baking sheet with the oil-dipped side facing up. Repeat with the remaining slices.

Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Heat oven to 400 degrees (200ºC). Add marinara sauce to the bottom of an 8 by 5 by 1/2-inch baking dish.

Flatten the goat cheese log into a circle then add to the baking dish on top of the sauce.

Bake until the goat cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, then garnish with basil and serve with the crostini.

Recipe reprinted courtesy of Cooking with Cocktail Rings.

Figs in a Blanket with Whipped Goat Cheese Mousse

PHOTO: Figs in a blanket with whipped goat cheese.
Institute of Culinary Education​
Figs in a blanket with whipped goat cheese.

The chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City shared this simple meat-free riff on a favorite holiday appetizer.

Makes: 25 pieces

1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 3-inch triangles
7 large figs, cut into quarters
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)
Goat cheese mousse, (recipe below)

For the Goat Cheese Mousse
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces goat cheese, brought to room temperature
1 bunch chives, finely sliced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a sheet pan, lay the figs skin side down. Sprinkle liberally with the sugar and bake for 5 minutes, or until caramelized. Let cool. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

Lay one piece of puff pastry on a clean surface and place a cooled fig onto the wide end of the triangle. Roll pastry and seal the end with the egg wash.

Place the rolled figs on a sheet tray and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

For the goat cheese mousse: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the heavy cream until very stiff. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon and beat the goat cheese until very soft and smooth.

Slowly fold in the whipped cream, a third at a time until well incorporated.

Fold in the chives, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into a pastry bag (or alternatively put in a bowl) until ready for use. Either pipe or spoon the mixture on top of the figs in a blanket.

Editor's note: This was originally published on Dec. 15, 2021.