Ah, cheese — staple of good parties everywhere. If you’re hosting guests, chances are you’re considering putting out some kind of cheese plate. But don’t stop with a simple block of cheddar or wheel of brie! With a few extra motions, you can create a baked cheese that’s sure to impress.
Baked cheeses look good, taste good, and are simple to make. Here are three of our favorite recipes for easy entertaining.
Herb-Crusted Baked Feta
by Andy Hayes
If you’ve never baked cheese before, this is an excellent recipe to start with. The bitterness of French herbs pairs perfectly with the saltiness of feta to make this appetizer nothing short of savory.
- 1 block feta
- 2-3 tablespoons herbs de provence
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rub herbs de provence into block of feta. Place on square of aluminum foil and coat liberally with olive oil. Wrap tightly.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap onto a plate; drizzle with more olive oil. Best served warm with something crunchy.
Rosemary Fig Honey Baked Brie with Toasted Hazelnuts
by Lisa Ferraro
Brie is a favorite among Plum Deluxe staffers, so when we heard fellow cheese-lover Lisa Ferraro from Taste Artisanal Market had a special baked brie recipe, we knew we needed to have it. The sweetness of the honey and figs pairs beautifully with the piney bite of rosemary, while the hazelnuts add crunch.
- 1 8oz wheel of brie or camembert (such as Isigny Ste. Mere Brie)
- 1/2 cup of Taste Artisanal Market’s Rosemary Fig Honey, divided
- 1/3 cup Black Mission Figs, chopped, with additional 2 or 3 figs for garnish
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
Using a warmed sharp knife, carefully slice the wheel of brie in half horizontally, separating the top half from the bottom half. Place the bottom half of the brie in the baking dish.
Pour 1/4 cup of the honey over the bottom half of the brie. Place 1/3 cup of the hazelnuts over top of the honey, along with all of the figs. Return the top half of the brie and gently press to secure filling.
Pour the remainder of the honey over top of the brie and place baking dish in oven on middle rack.
Bake for 10 minutes. Top with remaining hazelnuts and garnish with figs and rosemary.
Serve brie on a platter surrounded by your favorite bread, crackers, or apple and pear slices. Garnish with rosemary if desired. Enjoy!
Frico (Parmesan Crisps)
by Margo Millure
Frico, or Italian parmesan crisps, are a one ingredient, easy to bake cheese recipe. They are delicious served as a topping for soups and salads, as well as being an excellent choice on their own. Low carb and gluten free eaters will particularly appreciate their salty and crispy goodness. One of our favorite ways to serve them up is alongside kale chips, as a simple and festive cocktail hour snack.
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
(For extra pizazz, mix in a tablespoon of finely shredded basil and a teaspoon of grated lemon zest.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pile rounded tablespoons of Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet, placing each spoonful around 3 inches apart.
Baking time varies, depending of the oiliness of the cheese, but generally 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them and bake until slightly more golden at the edges.
Photo credits: author, Lisa Ferraro, and Margo Millure.