Halloween is officially over and – though we can try to deny it for a few more weeks – the holiday season is coming upon us and the thought of holiday meals cannot be ignored with Thanksgiving looming. In many ways, the meal can be the most stressful part of the holiday season. Considering all the potential pitfalls is an easy way to stress yourself out: The meat could be dry, a family member’s food aversion could be forgotten, or you could simply have no idea what to serve for side dishes. Fortunately, this last pitfall is one we can help you avoid. Cheese dips are a common appetizer at holiday meals, and cheese plates are practically a staple, but why not mix it up a bit? Here are a few ways in which you could bake a cheese and create a new, exciting experience at your holiday meals this season.
What’s great about these Homemade Baked Cheese Crisps is they work with almost any kind of cheese. Got a relative who insists on only eating Parmesan, but another who prefers cheddar? This recipe works for both. Running low on fancy cheese this holiday season? This recipe also works with the basic shredded cheese packages you find in the grocery store, and all cheeses used result in a delicious cheese crisp. All you really need to make these are a cheese grater (if the cheese isn’t already grated), an oven, a cookie sheet, and a parchment to put your cheese on. It’s simple, it can be done on a budget, and it’s delicious.
In terms of ingredients, there’s nothing particularly special about this recipe for Baked Camembert. Camembert, olive oil, and basil are really all you need. What makes this recipe unique is the way it’s made. According to “Salty Sally,” the ones who showed her this recipe chose to bake this cheese in their chimney instead of their oven, as “it’s the flame that really gives the Camembert its flavor.” If you don’t have a chimney, you could cook it in the coals of a grill or in the broiler of an oven. Aside from its showy cooking method, it only takes a few minutes to make, making it a quick appetizer for hungry guests.
Sick of plain old sweet desserts? Have a relative who just doesn’t like sweets all that much? These Smoked Cheese Cocktail Cookies are a delicious alternative to a traditional dessert cookie. The sharp cheese and pepper combination give these cookies a bit of a kick, making them both unique and delicious. The recipe also makes five-dozen cookies, so it practically begs to be used for a large holiday party.
This spicy-sweet Pepper-Glazed Goat Cheese Gratin makes a fun alternative to a traditional cheese plate or dip. It takes only 20 minutes to bake and uses mainly pantry staples, making it a great option for those who forgot they volunteered to bring a dish. Beware: Packed with jalapeños, pickled peppers, mustard, and onion, this isn’t for those with weak tongues. But, for a heat loving crowd, this will be a winner.
Baked Olive Cheese Balls
In the 1950s, cheesy appetizers in the shape of a ball, from the classic cheese ball to these Baked Cheese Olive Balls, were considered the cat’s pajamas. Today, these briny, buttery balls are popular again, and we can see why. They’re easy to make, and the combo of sharp cheeses and olives bring out a contrasting flavor that is almost irresistible. It’s a classy throwback everyone can enjoy before the main meal begins.Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of Delicious Happens