(photo by my dear friend Mei-Chun http://www.jaufoto.com/)
Do you need an appetizer for a party coming up? This little app is salty, sweet, crunchy, juicy, rich & fresh all at once. There is a lot going on here, but all the textures and flavors really come together for a little party in your mouth! I call these Heaven Bites b/c they are really little journey to paradise in each bite.
A couple notes – Parmesan is probably your first choice on cheese for the crackers. I liked the smokiness of the smoked gouda, but one of my friends thought it was too strong. I’ve also made these with a few crumbles of bacon on top b/c we all know bacon makes everything better! 🙂
And finally, if you are in a pinch, skip the crackers and buy some cheese crackers at the store! The rest of the ingredients will come together in less than 10 min! Start at step 6 below.
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tsp butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cup fresh grated cheese – parmesan or smoked gouda (I’ve used both)
- 1 TB dijon mustard
- pinch salt
- 1 tub mascarpone cheese
- 3 TB honey
- pomegranate seeds
- fresh basil
- fig jam/spread (I used this delicious stuff that is also great to have on hand for cheese & wine picnics :-)) — Dalmatia Dried Fig Spread – with Orange (8 ounce)
1. First, make the crackers – In a medium bowl, smoosh together the flour and butter with your fingers. Once it’s well combined, add the egg yolk, mustard, salt, cheese, and knead everything together with your hands. The mix will form into a semi dry dough.
2. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and form the dough into a cylinder on top of the plastic wrap. Wrap up the the dough tightly in the plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pull out the chilled dough and slice off circular pieces. Place the dough circles on a foil lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Use a fork and press down each cracker to give it some nice ridges. Bake the crackers for 10-15 min until edges are just browning. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. Next prep the mascarpone by whipping the cheese with the honey. Give into the temptation to stick a pinky in this cracktastic mixture and take a taste. Place the whipped mixture into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip the corner. You will use this like a frosting bag!
5. Open the pomegranate and scoop out the seeds. Chiffonade the basil.
6. Next, time to assemble.
7. On each cracker, spread some fig jam, pipe out a mound of mascarpone, press some pomegranate seeds into the cheese (about 4-5 seeds per cracker), top off with some basil.
8. Now pop the whole thing in your mouth, close your eyes, and let all flavors hit you! MMMMMMM!
My favorite part is how the pomegranate seeds provide a little surprise burst of juice in your mouth on top of all the other flavors!
9. Force yourself to go on making more for your party w/out eating every single one yourself. 🙂 Enjoy sharing this little bite of heaven with your friends.