When I was a little girl, one of our regular breakfast meals was “Cheese Toast.” It was an open-faced toasted bread slice, with melted cheddar cheese on top and
drenched drizzled with maple syrup. My Mom would cut it up into little squares and I’d sop the bread around wiping up all the syrupy drips. I always thought cheese toast was as common as Cheerios for breakfast, until my friends would come over and look on with wide eyes when the maple hit the cheddar. Apparently my Mom’s grandpa, my great Grandpa Nate, used to make cheese toast for her when she was little girl, too. Nostalgia always provides inspiration for me in the kitchen, and I drew on another popular flavor combo: apples and cheddar cheese, for this quick-fix meal. It might seem like an interesting combo, but trust me- this surprising combo of sweet and savory is a total crowd-pleaser. We eat these at our house for dinner, lunch, breakfast, snacks…you name it. It’s a go-to meal around here and last time I made them one of my kids said, “Mom you should put this on your blog.” Well then, here ya go kid.
Start with some sweet, crisp apples. I like fuji, pink lady, honey crisp, and similar varieties, but anything works. Slice them thinly, in about 1/8-inch slices. Next, slice some cheddar cheese. I like extra sharp in most recipes because when combined with other ingredients the extra punch helps the flavor stand out.
You’ll also want to make sure to use a good, hearty, rustic bread (not a super soft and squishy one). Cover both slices of bread with slices of cheese, and top one of them with a single layer of sliced apples.
Sprinkle the apples with a light dusting of cinnamon and a little pinch of kosher salt or sea salt.
Then just plop that sucker together. Spread a little butter on the outsides and then grill either in a skillet or a panini grill.
The heat toasts the bread, melts that gooey cheese, and softens the apples so they’re tender.
The result is this fabulous grilled cheese sandwich, but taken to a new level. Since the apples are softened, they just add this perfect sweetness that offsets the little flakes of salt and the creamy, savory cheese.
But now we’re really going to get crazy. Remember I was inspired by cheese toast here. This is why it’s important to have a hearty, rustic bread. One with lots of airy holes in it, because now you’re going to drizzle your grilled cheese with maple syrup.
I know, it sounds kind of nutty, but trust me, it’s amaaaazing. Sweet and savory and crunchy and soft, and all around delicious.
If you use a good rustic bread, the syrup just sort of falls into all of those nooks and crannies so it’s not a total disaster to eat. You could also serve a little maple syrup on the side and dip. Because you know you’ve always wanted to dip a sandwich in syrup.
Try it with a cup of butternut squash soup, or a side salad for dinner, or with a glass of milk for breakfast, it’s comfort food no matter what time of day- try it out!
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Maple Drizzled Apple-Cinnamon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Recipe by Our Best Bites
Measurements are approximate. These are sandwiches- don’t overthink it!
4 slices rustic sandwich bread
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese (or enough to cover all the slices)
1-2 sweet, crisp apples
kosher or sea salt
3-4 tablespoons real butter
100% real maple syrup
Butter each slice of bread and place slices butter-side down on a cutting board. Place cheese on each slice of bread. Core apples and slice into 1/8 inch slices. Place apple slices on 4 slices of bread and lightly sprinkle them with ground cinnamon and salt. Put sandwich halves together and grill in a hot skillet, or on a Panini grill, or broiled in the oven, flipping sandwiches and cooking until each side is golden brown and cheese is melted. Drizzle with maple syrup, or serve on the side for dipping. Makes 4 sandwiches.