Chocolate-Hazelnut and Goat Cheese Melt

Makes four sandwiches

8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) Nutella (or other hazelnut-chocolate spread)
4 ounces Appleton Creamery Classic Plain goat cheese, at room temperature
8 slices country white bread (1/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

In a small bowl, stir the Nutella and cheese together.

To assemble: Butter one side each slice of bread. Place four slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the four slices so that it is about 1/4 inch thick (if it’s any thicker, the sandwich will be too gooey). Place the remaining four bread slices on top, buttered side up. Cut off the crusts (this helps pinch the bread together to create a tight seal).

Stovetop method: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for two minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover and cook for two minutes or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to soften. Uncover and turn the sandwiches with a spatula. Cook for one minute or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again and cook for 30 seconds, or until the cheese is soft and creamy. Serve immediately.

adapted from
GREAT GRILLED CHEESE: 50 INNOVATIVE RECIPES FOR STOVETOP, GRILL, AND SANDWICH MAKER, by Laura Werlin, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, 2004

Goat Cheese Mousse with Mint Pesto

Serves 4

For Mint Pesto
2 C loosley packed mint leaves
3 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 C pine nuts (seasoned and toasted)
1/2 C olive oil

For Goat Cheese Mousse
8 oz. Appleton Creamery plain goat cheese
3/4 C lightly whipped heavy cream

Mint leaf for ganish
Crudites and slices of fresh baked bread as an accompaniment

Make the pesto: Combine the mint, parmesan and pine nuts in the food processor and process until finely chopped. With motor running, add olive oil, blending until smooth.

Make the goat cheese mousse: Process the goat cheese in the cleaned processor until smooth. Add the whipped cream and blend just until incorporated.

Spoon the pesto in the center of a platter. Place the mousse directly on top of the pesto so that you just see the green pesto oil around the perimeter of the mousse. Serve with the crudities and bread slices.