Cheating On Turkey: Part 2-The Perfect Starter



Whoever told you that you couldn't have cake for dinner was a liar. Cake is a perfectly acceptable starter for Thankgiving, especially when you are cheating on turkey with all of the other delicious foods in the house that are easy to prepare. Before I launch into this effortless recipe, I need to give credit to Canadian Living's Complete Canadian Living Baking Book, which has been instrumental in my last couple of cheesecake related posts. I caught a glimpse of these bite-sized dinner cakes while baking my Lemon Cheesecake Squares a couple of weeks back and knew I had to try them.  I made a few of my own adjustments, like using dry Serrano ham instead of prosciutto as a garnish. The result was pretty tasty. The only problem? I've got twelve cakes but only three people to feed tonight. Ha!
This the cookbook that is responsible for making all of the magic happen in my kitchen. What can be more Canadian than baking with CL?

Camembert Cheesebites
Original recipe from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book

Ingredients: 

Crust:
1/4 cup ground almond 
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt

Filling:
1 pckg. of cream cheese 
125 g. camembert cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Garnish:
A few sprigs of rosemary
A slice of dry Serrano ham or prosciutto

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Note: these work really good for the cheesebites so that they don't stick.
 
1-In a bowl,  beat your butter until it is smooth, then add your ground almonds, flour, rosemary and salt and mix until combined. Line your muffin tins and press your mix firmly into the bottom of each tin. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is solid.

2- In another bowl, beat your cream cheese and camembert cheese together (without the skin) until they are also smooth.  Add your egg, rosemary, and sour cream and beat until everything seems uniform. Pour this mixture over your crusts and bake at 325 degrees for 12-17 minutes (until your bites seem baked but still a little wobbly in the middle). Let them cool on the rack, before transferring to the fridge. They will set in a couple of hours.  

3-When serving garnish with some rosemary and a strip of Serrano ham or prosciutto.




The trick to really decadent tasting cheese bites is to get all of your cheese fresh from the market, if possible.
With a small kitchen you need to get super creative sometimes, like hanging fresh herbs off of your cup-hangers.
Now that you've got your perfect starter underway, in Part 3 of my Thankgiving post I'll reveal the ultimate side dish to knock your guests off their feet.  It's practically a family secret that I'm spilling, but one that's too tasty not to share. Enjoy!