These Strawberry Chambord Whipped Cheese Toasts are a gorgeous Spring appetizer, perfect for a brunch, bridal shower or drinks on the patio!
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I see the light at the end of the tunnel! The tunnel being Winter, that is. Yesterday we had the most gorgeous sunny day, and I knew that Spring is on its way! Speaking of Spring, do strawberries make you think of Spring like they do for me? That was the main reason I was drawn to this recipe for Strawberry Chambord Whipped Cheese Toasts from my friend Kristy Gardner’s new cookbook, “Cooking with Cocktails“.
Kristy is the amazingly talented blogger over at She Eats. I have long ogled her beautiful photography and creative recipes, so imagine how thrilled I was when she asked me to be part of her virtual book tour to celebrate the release of her brand new cookbook! Of course I jumped at the chance – and eagerly awaited my copy in the mail. (If you want a copy of your own, be sure to enter my giveaway at the bottom of this post!)
Let me tell you, this cookbook is GORGEOUS. I am not exaggerating when I say I want to make pretty much every single recipe in this book. I had a hard time narrowing down which recipe I would make for this post. The Rhuby-Tom – a Rhubarb Tom Collins? Limoncello Shrimp with Black Pepper and Mango Salsa? Maple Whiskey BBQ Meatballs? Classic NY-Style Margarita Cheesecake? I had about 50 post-its making pages of the recipes I want to make. But I eventually settled on these Strawberry Chambord Whipped Cheese Toasts because they scream spring and I NEED Spring in my life right now!
I totally love these spring crostini. Or you might call them Spring bruschetta, if you aren’t a bruschetta purest (I’m not!). The bright fresh strawberries are marinated in a mixture of Chambord and balsamic vinegar, giving them a sweet and tangy kick. Basil and strawberries were made for each other (MFEO), and the smooth and creamy cheese pairs perfectly with the tangy berries.
Strawberry Chambord Whipped Cheese Toasts
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
2 cups strawberries, chopped into 1 inch pieces
coarse sea salt
1 loaf French baguette, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup blue cheese OR soft goat cheese*
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup basil leaves
Maldon sea salt for serving (optional)
- Combine the vinegar and Chambord into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens, reduces by half and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
- Once the syrup is cool, toss with the berry pieces along with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Strain out excess liquid, leaving about 1/4 cup of the liquid in the bowl.
- Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in the oven under the broiler and toast until golden. Watch carefully as they burn easily!
- Combine the cream cheese with the blue cheese (or goat cheese) along with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt (if using kosher salt instead reduce to 1/4 teaspoon). Whisk together until light and airy.
- To assemble toasts, top each slice of toast with some cheese mixture, a basil leaf and a spoonful of the strawberries. Season with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt if desired.
*Kristy calls for Stilton blue cheese, but as I am one of those weirdos who hates blue cheese, I used a soft goat cheese. Use whichever one you love!
*Recipe used with permission from Cooking with Cocktails by Kristy Gardner
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