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The Bubbly Girl

Food + Recipes, Wine + Food Pairing

Cheddar Cheese Coin Recipe

May 6, 2018
cheddar-cheese-coins-recipe

I needed hostess gifts for a couple Sunday visits, so I decided to race to Sunshine Market and grab the ingredients for some Cheddar Cheese Coins.

The friendly checker, sizing up the content of my basket, said “Enjoy your cookies!” When I told him I was making savory cheese crackers to pair with wine, the woman in line behind me jumped in with “I want some of those.”

If you think you’re too busy to bake or don’t always like the way your creations turn out — trust me, these Cheddar Cheese Coins are foolproof, easy and deliciously worth your time and effort. I like to make the dough ahead of time, keep it wrapped up in the freezer, and then slice and bake a log or two when I need something for a party or surprise guests.

A former co-worker named Elizabeth shared the original recipe. They’re basically classic savory shortbreads. Over the years, I’ve added some of my own touches — and you should feel free to do the same.

Cheddar Cheese Coins

Make 7 dozen

  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated and at room temperature
  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette

In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, cheddar cheese, flour, pecans, salt, cayenne, ancho chile powder and piment d’Espelette. Using your hands, mix well until all the ingredients are well-combined and it forms a dough.

Working on a lightly floured surface, take a hunk of dough and roll it into a 10 to 12 inch long log the diameter of a quarter. Wrap log in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough. Put the dough you don’t plan to bake into the freezer, stored in a resealable plastic bag. Let the dough you plan to bake chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, slice the chilled log of dough into discs one-eighth inch thick. Place discs ¼-inch apart on a baking sheet that’s been greased lightly or is covered by a Silpat baking mat. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the coins are golden and the kitchen smells like toasty cheddar cheese and butter. Remove pan from the oven. Let the coins cool completely before removing them from the pan, or they might fall apart.

You might be tempted to cut the recipe in half so you won’t have so many on hand, but I don’t recommend it. Once you taste them, you’ll need more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubbly Events

The Bubbly Girl Featured in The Quick Sip column

January 4, 2014
Mercury News quick sip interview Maria Hunt
Photo credit: Alisa Damaso

Photo credit: Alisa Damaso

I receive all kinds of mail via my website, but it’s especially fun when it reconnects me with someone from the past. In mid-December, I heard from Jessica Yadegaran, the clever wine and food writer for the Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News. We met some years ago when I was a staff food writer and she was a news assistant at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Each week for her Quick Sip column, she interviews a local wine blogger about what they’re drinking right now and gets suggestions for fun food and wine pairings. We talked about some of the fabulous breakout bubbly I’d discovered this past year, like Illinois Sparkling Company‘s traditional method Brut crafted amid the cornfields, the Bodkin sparkling sauvignon blanc that’s perfect with sushi and lots of clean and fresh traditional method sparkling wines from Brazil’s Vale do Vinhedos, especially Cave Geisse and Casa Valduga.

Click to read the full interview with Jessica, and get a great recipe for an Asian style dipping sauce that pairs perfectly with Dungeness crab and brut sparkling wine.

 

 

 

Bubbly Events

A Scented Soirée: Jo Malone & The Bubbly Girl Launch Wild Bluebell Sept. 22-30, 2011

September 16, 2011

Whenever I create a new cocktail, my inspiration usually starts with an amazing piece of seasonal fruit, a fun sparkling wine or a unique spirit that captures my imagination. Then I start adding other flavors to create a cocktail that’s harmonious and complex.

That’s the same way the perfumers at the British fragrance brand Jo Malone blend fruit, floral and spice aromas to create a beguiling scent. I love the way Jo Malone fragrances like White Jasmine and Mint, Nectarine Blossom and Honey and Lime Blossom perfectly capture those natural aromas. Their latest creation is Wild Bluebell, a dewy and slightly mysterious floral scent.

This month I’ll be working with Jo Malone to present a series of interactive cocktail and fragrance parties to explore the elements in the new fragrance Wild Bluebell.

Our heroine Wild Bluebell grew up in a grand English country manor. When she was a young woman, she left home to go traveling the world on different adventures. When she returned home years later, she discovered that her childhood home had fallen into neglect; overrun with namesake wild bluebell flowers. The scent was so intoxicating, she couldn’t resist falling into the fragrant carpet of flowers – just like in the picture above.

Wild Bluebell starts with top notes of wild bluebell and orange flower water, heart notes of persimmon and eglantine rose and finishes base notes of white musk. It’s made to be layered with other scents in the Jo Malone range, the same way spirits like gin and brandy pair with a range of other spirits, liqueurs and fruits.

Call the stores directly to reserve a place at one of these scented soirées:

Sept. 22 – Nordstrom Walnut Creek, 4 p.m.
RSVP: 925-930-7959 ext. 1042.

Sept. 23 – Neiman Marcus San Francisco, 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m.
RSVP: 415-362-3900 ext 211.

Sept. 24 – Neiman Marcus Palo Alto, 1 and 2:30 p.m.
RSVP: 650-329-3300.

Sept. 30 – Saks Fifth Avenue San Francisco, 3 p.m.
RSVP: 415-438-5243.

Entertaining, Wine + Food Pairing

Think Pink: Delicious & Easy Valentine’s Day Food & Drinks

February 13, 2011

[nggallery id=2]
Whether you’ve got a big Valentine’s dinner planned or not, I think it’s nice to be able to start your celebration at home. So I put together a gallery with some of my favorite, easy-to-make pink foods and drinks for Valentine’s Day.

Visit the recipes section at The Bubbly Girl for the Kismet Cocktail, Raspberry Royale cocktail, and the Chocolate Corks which are fudgey and moist since they start with a yeast based chocolate dough.

You could pick up ingredients for most of these recipes at Trader Joe’s, along with the super-affordable Blason Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé. The red Italian sparkler Brachetto d’Acqui is usually at BevMo or a larger liquor stores with a decent wine department.

To make the Jack Rose cocktail, add 1 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur, two ounces applejack (or Calvados if you can’t find it) and the juice of half a lime to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake it until your hands are really cold, then strain it into a smallish martini glass.

Cheers!

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Strawberry Smash Cocktail Recipe

January 31, 2011

Strawberry Smash

This variation on the mojito lets you mix strawberries with your favorite herb such as mint, basil, lemon verbena, cilantro, rosemary or thyme. Be sure to try the drink out before serving it to friends so you get the amount of herbs dialed in to your taste buds. It’s tasty with the alcohol or without; for a totally non-alcoholic drink, use sparkling water instead of the prosecco.

  • 3 ripe organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 6 leaves of one fresh herb such as mint, basil, verbena, cilantro OR 1-inch section of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1 ounce good white rum like 10 Cane or clean white gin like Bombay Sapphire
  • 1 ounce all-natural sour mix (see note)
  • 2 ounces prosecco

Add the strawberries and your selected herb to a rocks glass. Smash the strawberries and herbs gently with a muddler until the berries are a pulp and the herbs smell strong. Add the rum or gin if using and sour mix to the glass and give it a stir. Fill 3/4 full with ice. Top off with the prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of the herb you used.

Note: To create my all natural sour mix, mix 1 cup lemon and or lime juice with 1 cup sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Heat over a low-medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When cool, pour syrup into a sterile glass bottle and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

By Maria Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion