I got home last night and my brothers had dropped by. They were sitting around the dining room table with Gord, listening to his latest vinyl record finds. Excellent – Recipe testers! I’d been tweaking that retro Canadian favourite, crispy cheese cookies, pairing their sharp savoury flavour against sweet accents, and I needed some help getting it right. If you are Canadian you’ve tasted these delicious little bites at at least one party, and they always disappear off the buffet table first. Crispy cheese cookies are a neat blend of textures – they kind of melt in your mouth and snap at the same time. Sorry rest of the world – there’s one cheese with the rich flavour you need, and you can only find it here in Canada.
Tangy cheese pairs well with sweet, spicy mincemeat. (You need a top quality mincemeat btw. The next time you’re in Vancouver in the fall, pick up a couple of tubs from The British Butcher before it sells out. The British Butcher ages raisins and apple in brandy, spices and rum for months till its mincemeat is rich and absolutely perfect.)
Salty cheese crackers with rosemary also contrast nicely with raspberry jam. Great flavour, and lovely colours too. Enjoy with a glass of wine, a sleeve of beer, or a cup of tea.
- 1 tub (230 g) MacLaren's Imperial Sharp Cold Pack Cheddar Cheese at room temperature
- ⅔ c Avocado Oil
- 1½ c Flour
- ½ tsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
- 4 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
- Raspberry Jam
- Sprig Fresh Rosemary for rosemary raspberry wreath garnish
- Good Mincemeat
- Gold stars and sparkly gold sugar for mincemeat garnish
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- Cream cheese in large bowl. Add oil and continue beating until blended. Add flour and beat until creamy. If making Rosemary Raspberry cheese crisps, add minced rosemary into the batter and beat briefly to combine. Stir in cereal.
- Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Smooth balls into thin, flat rounds, with fork. Poke a chopstick in the center and swirl gently to create wreath hole.
- Bake 9 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon jam or mincemeat on top of cookie wreath. Use tip of sharp paring knife to neatly poke topping into place. Return to oven for 6 minutes until cookies are lightly browned and crispy.
- Garnish Rosemary Raspberry Cheese Crisp Wreaths with little rosemary sprigs. Garnish mincemeat with little gold stars and gold sugar.
What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.