cheese galore

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cheese galore, chocolate | 0 comments

Cheesecake Brownies. Beautiful to behold. Delicious to eat.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

I’m not a cheesecake person. But the pairing of chocolate and cheesecake? That makes it work.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

This recipe is all about that balance of different kinds of sweetness. The addition of semisweet chocolate chips complements both and adds a different texture, too.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

I have to say, I love the swirl effect on the top of these brownies. There’s something especially pleasing about food that looks as amazing as it tastes.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

If you want a similar, stronger (and more expensive) pairing, my Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies will also interest you.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Modified from All Recipes Magazines, November 2017.

 

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

This take on a classic pairs brownies with rich cream cheese. The semisweet chocolate chips throughout complement in a delicious way.

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/4 cup (half cube) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with heavy foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.

Beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg until fairly smooth; some small chunks are fine. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and remaining 1 cup chocolate chips in brief bursts until fully melted and smooth; watch it carefully and stir well between each burst. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, followed by the 2 eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour half the chocolate batter into the ready pan and spread into an even layer. Gently spread the cream cheese batter on top. Drop dollops of the rest of the chocolate batter on top. Use a butter knife or narrow spatula to swirl the layers together for a marbled effect.

Bake until the top is crinkled and edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then stash in the fridge for another few hours to completely cool.

Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in fridge, waxed paper between stacked layers to prevent stocking, for up to three days, or freeze for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, healthier | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

Let’s start off the new year with a deliciously cheesy recipe to make a salad extra special: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds!

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

This recipe is super easy. There are only four ingredients! The work is minimal as it goes in stages.

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

The end result is a delicious, fancy cheese to add to your salads over the coming weeks. I do large salads with lots of cheese, so I use two rounds. For a small salad–or if you want less cheese (goat cheese IS strong)–do one round.

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

The nice thing about this is that the recipe has everything portioned and ready in the freezer. In the time it takes to assemble the salad, the cheese rounds are baked and ready for eating.

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

This is true whether you’re cooking for one, or for a group over for brunch.

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

I made this recipe using the goat cheese available at Costco, where it is sold in a pack of two 10.5-ounce logs. A glance at Bready or Not of a month ago will show where the other log went–into Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies.

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

Adapted from a recipe featured in Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010.

 

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

Bready or Not: Baked Goat Cheese Salad Rounds [Gluten Free]

This simple and healthy recipe produces gluten-free, pecan-coated goat cheese rounds that are kept frozen until meal time. This is a great recipe for a person eating solo, or to bake up as an elegant cheese to accompany salads for a crowd.

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 10.5 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

In a food processor, pulse pecans until finely chopped. Transfer the pecans to another bowl. Add the cheese and herbs to the processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Chill cheese in fridge in a covered bowl until firm, at least an hour.

Set up a work station. Beat the two eggs in a small bowl. Place next to the bowl of pecan pieces. Lastly, line a small cookie sheet or plate with waxed paper.

Use tablespoon scoop to doll out about 12 equal dollops of goat cheese onto the waxed paper. Smooth out a ball of cheese between palms, then dip into the egg, allowing excess to run off, then press and roll the ball to coat with pecan. Set back on waxed paper. Repeat with other balls. Use palm or the bottom of a glass to compress the cheese into flat rounds. Place in freezer for several hours, at minimum.

Once they are set, transfer the rounds to a sealed container for the freezer with waxed paper between the layers. IMPORTANT: They will go straight from the freezer to the oven. Don't thaw, or they'll lose their shape when baking!

When ready to bake, preheat oven or toaster oven at 475-degrees. Place foil on cookie sheet. Remove from freezer however many cheese rounds desired to cook; two rounds per large salad works well. Spray foil and cheese lightly with cooking spray.

Bake until the nuts are golden brown and cheese is warmed through, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool several minutes. Set on a salad of greens tossed with a vinaigrette.

Frozen cheese rounds will keep well up to a month.

OM NOM NOM

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Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cheese galore, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies. These things are sweet, savory, rich, and absolutely perfect for holiday fixin’s.

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

These are brownies that taste fancy, because they are. Goat cheese ain’t cheap, people, though I acquired mine for a good price at Costco.

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Costco’s chevre comes in two logs of 10 1/2 ounces. I bought it for use in a recipe that’ll be coming up in a few weeks (goat cheese rounds for a salad, YUM) but then had to figure out what to do with the other log.

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

The answer, of course: DESSERT! I ended up melding several recipes to suit my Costco-sized cheese, and ta-da! This recipe is the result.

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

I’ve made brownies like this using cream cheese before. This version takes that up several notches. Chevre is a strong, somewhat gamey cheese. The end result is a brownie that is rich and sweet with a distinct savory note.

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Treat yourself with these amazing brownies this holiday season–and be sure to check out last week’s Holiday Cherry Brownies, too!

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Bready or Not Original: Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies

Goat cheese makes these swirled brownies taste delicious and fancy! This recipe is made to accommodate the size of goat cheese available at Costco. Serve these up at a holiday gathering and folks are sure to rave.

  • Goat Cheese Swirl
  • 10.5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Brownie Base
  • 2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line an 8×8 or 9x9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

Mix goat cheese swirl ingredients. Set aside.

Make the brownie base by whisking together the cocoa, sugars, salt, flour, and chips in a big mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil, and water and vanilla extract until everything is just combined.

Spoon half the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dollop the cheese mixture atop it, then add the remaining brownie batter into the open spots. Use a knife to swirl the two layers together while still keeping them a bit distinct.

Bake the brownies for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the pan size. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness. The center should be set with the consistency still moist and fudgy. Cool to room temperature, then place in fridge to chill an hour or two prior to cutting.

Use foil to lift brownies onto cutting board for easy slicing. Store in a sealed container in fridge, with parchment or waxed paper between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Mar 14, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, cheese galore | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Earl Grey tea and cream cheese team up in delicious bar form in these delicious Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Last August, I featured Matcha Cheesecake Bars. I decided to modify that recipe using Earl Grey.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

The result: WOW. Earl Grey has a slight heat to it when eaten in baked goods (like, say, Earl Grey shortbread).

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Here, that contrasts wonderfully with the smooth and creamy cheesecake swirls. I’m not a big cheesecake person, but I’m in awe of how good this basic recipe is.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

This is a recipe to make cheesecake haters love cheesecake. That’s not a statement I’d make lightly.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

I’ve been told these are excellent with coffee… but if I may, I suggest indulging while enjoying some Earl Grey tea. Hot. Captain Picard-style.

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

 

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Earl Grey Cheesecake Bars

This Bready or Not original recipe uses the pleasantly warm spices of Earl Grey to season cool cream cheese. The result is a memorable, delicious recipe that just might convert cheesecake haters to the ways of cheesecake.

  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake layer
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tb all-purpose flour
  • 2 tea bags Earl Grey (scant 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and the vanilla extract, followed by the combined dry ingredients.

Use an uneven spatula to smooth out HALF of the batter in the prepared pan. Place the other half in another bowl for now. Clean the bowl before the next stage, if desired.

To make the cheesecake layer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, butter, flour, and the contents of two bags of Earl Grey. Mix in the egg and vanilla until it is mostly smooth.

Pour about HALF of the cream cheese mix on top of the batter in the pan and smooth it out. Dollop the remaining crust and cheesecake batters over the top, and use a butter knife to swirl them together.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then place in fridge to continue to chill and set for another hour or two.

Lift it up by the aluminum foil and place on a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a lidded container in fridge, with waxed paper or parchment between stacked layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

Bready or Not has featured a whole lot of sweets in recent weeks. Let’s switch to something delicious and healthy instead: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad.

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

This still has a little bit of sweetness going on. Butternut squash is naturally awesome that way, and a sprinkling of cranberries adds some extra oomph. Add some pecans for crunch and feta because CHEESE, and this creates a bowl of happiness. The quinoa adds protein and kinda enjoys the ride along with all the other flavors.

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

I cobbled this together from several other recipes. I wanted something that I could invest some time in and then use as a quick-fix dinner for several more days. I parcel it into three or four containers, depending on the size of the squash, and my meals are set! Or, you could use this as a gluten-free main dish or side dish to feed a group.

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

I can offer a few useful tips, too. I cook quinoa in my Zojirushi rice cooker. One cup of uncooked quinoa makes a LOT once its cooked, more than my salad recipe requires, but cooked quinoa keeps well in the fridge and can also be frozen and thawed weeks later without any issue.

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

If you’re intimidated by cutting butternut squash, there is a safe and easy way to do it!

Next week’s Bready or Not officially kicks off my October-November tradition of pumpkin and autumn-themed recipes! Time to bust out the stretchy pants.

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

A Bready or Not Original! This salad takes some initial work to assemble, but it creates a big bowl of autumnal deliciousness! Serve as a main dish or side dish for a crowd, or use it as a solo meal over several days. This is gluten-free, healthy, and full of happiness.

  • butternut squash (2.5-3.5 pounds)
  • olive oil or avocado oil
  • pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon/nutmeg etc
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • feta cheese

Preheat the oven at 425-F.

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread out the chopped squash and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle spices of choice and some salt. Roast squash for 20 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, measure out the cranberries and place in a small bowl. Cover the cranberries with water and let them soak. Measure out the pecans.

When the 20 minutes is up, toss the squash in the pan. Drain the water from the cranberries, discarding water. Add the plumped cranberries and pecans to the squash, and season more, if desired. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until butternut squash is fork tender with roasted coloration.

Transfer the pan's contents to a large bowl. Gently stir in the quinoa. Serve hot or stash in fridge for later, and heat with microwave. Add sprinkle of feta just before serving.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

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Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, side dish | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

Hot, melted cheese is one of the finest things in life. Add some flavor oomph and you have the perfect yumminess to stuff in your face.

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

The concept is simple: freeze cheese sticks. Wrap them in egg roll wrappers. Apply seasoning. Bake. Devour.

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

To boost this to another level, I recommend jalapeno mozzarella sticks. I was a little worried they might be too hot, but it turned out the flavor was very mild. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE CHEESE STICK.

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

The wrapping process is pretty easy. It gives directions on the back of the egg roll wrap package. However, don’t be like me and forget to brush water on the edges. (I think that’s why my wrappers leaked cheese. This can be categorized as a fantastic problem, because I then had to eat puddles of seasoned cheese off the aluminum foil. Darn.)

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

Modified from Carlsbad Cravings. First posted by me at the Holy Taco Church.

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

Bready or Not: Chili Lime Mozzarella Sticks

These dressed-up mozzarella cheese sticks are delicious hot or cold!

  • 24 mozzarella sticks (regular or jalapeno)
  • 20ish egg roll wrappers (only 21-22 come in a pack, so count your wrappers and maybe double stick some rolls)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Chili Lime Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder or flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Unwrap mozzarella sticks and freeze for 1-2 hours. Do this on wax paper so they don't stick.

Whisk together the chili lime olive oil ingredients in a small bowl while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Wrap your sticks. Follow the directions on the package or you can Google it. Be gentle so you don't tear the thin pastry, and do remember to brush water on the edges so that it seals. Note that you likely won't have 24 wrappers in the pack, so count them and be prepared to eat some naked cheese or do some double-wrapped versions.

Place the wrapped cheese on a baking rack placed on a foil-lined baking sheet. Stir the seasonings again (the spices will settle) and then brush the oil all over the cheese sticks. Use up all that good stuff.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400-degrees. Adjust the rack and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until golden, then flip them to broil the other side.

Eat up! They are amazing fresh--dip them in the oil in the pan. Serve with salsa or guac. Also, these things are amazing cold out of the fridge, if you happen to have any leftover.

OM NOM NOM!

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