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.
My mouth is watering at the mere idea of making this!! I just have a question, in Italy we don’t have maple syrup 🙁 do you think honey would do the trick as well?
Today i saw a similar recipe, the difference was it had apple butter instead of maple syrup… now i don’t know which one i should try first hahahaha.
This is so funny! This totally brings back memories of my Grandpa. When we would sleep over my Grandma would make waffles and my Grandma always had to slice up pieces of cheddar cheese for my Grandpa to put on his waffels! I love this, it brings back so many good memories.
I made this a few nights ago and it was delicious! I love the spin on a classic grilled cheese. I didn’t put maple syrup on it (a little too sweet to be considered dinner according to my husband), but the apple inside was great!
OH my gosh! My mom did a variation of this too that NO ONE ELSE knew about and all thought was gross. It was a combination of your cheese toast and a Monte Carlo-we called it Cheese Sandwhiches with Maple Syrup. Basically the outside of the sandwhich was dipped in a savory french toast batter and grilled with a piece of cheddar in the middle like a grilled cheese and eaten with Maple Syrup like a breakfast-but we only ever ate it for dinner…..I’ll definitely give this version a try!
I made these tonight – they we’re delicious!!!! My kids loved them too!
Tried it. Loved it. So delicious, I made and ate 2 sandwiches….but that’s ok, right?…because I’m eating or two??
YES. 2 of everything is a must! Lol
I haven’t had a chance to gather up the ingredients to make this, but I sure plan to! I’ve been thinking about it ALL WEEK. lol
Just made these today— so awesome. I saw someone else’s comment saying they’re similar to a Monte Cristo, which is hands down the most fantastic sandwich to ever grace this planet. I grew up in Boise/Meridian, and I have GOT to pass along a recommendation to you Sara: Miss Tami’s Tea Cottage in downtown Meridian. Get the Monte Cristo, with raspberry jam (I think you have to ask for it) and revel in the deliciousness! I’m going to have a plan a trip home, now that I’ve got those sandwiches in my head!
Good to know! I pass that place all the time, but I’ve never been there. I’ll check it out, thanks!
We love grilled cheese sandwiches….I am heading to the kitchen right now to make one of these babies….Oh, YUMMY! Thanks for sharing and tell your kids they were right to have you post it.
Those look amazing! Love cheese and apples 🙂
I’ve had cheese sauce over toast, cheddar and apple slices, maple syrup over apples, and cinnamon toast; but I never thought of combining all these. What a delicious idea – and the sprinkle of salt will just take it over the top. I can’t wait to try it!
How did you get those apple slices so beautiful and perfect?
I used a mandoline Christine! So quick and easy!
I was just looking for savory apple recipes yesterday!
My family’s restaurant used to serve Monte Cristo sandwiches – triple decker ham, swiss, turkey, and American cheese, dunked in pancake batter and deep fried. It was served with maple syrup and jam and let me tell you, it was far and away the most popular thing on the menu. I am very eager to try these! Sweet/salty/mapley is right up my alley.
Ashley, I LOVE a good Monte Cristo!
yum! we love apple grilled cheese on cinnamon raisin bread. Looking forward to trying the addition of maple syrup.
There’s a restaurant here in Tulsa that does a grilled cheese with thin apple slices on it… never ever would have thought of it on my own but oh my gosh, SO good!! I will have to try the maple syrup addition!
I totally used to eat this too! I grew up in AL and we always had cheese toast for breakfast! My kids look at me like I’m crazy when I make it and my husband was a little surprised the first time I mentioned when we got married! However, it IS delicious!
This looks absolutely amazing! Must make it…NOW! 🙂
Since you brought up your recipe for Butternut Squash soup – I must send over a big THANK YOU – it has been the ONLY way I can get my little boy to eat veggies! He’s been eating since he was 2 years old (he’s 4 1/2 now) – I make big batches of it and freeze it in single serving portions. He LOVES soup night and requests it often. & It’s one of the reasons that his favorite colors is orange! 🙂
Mmm, I love the sweet/cheese combo and am glad to see this recipe! Looks amazing, must try!
This looks like Vermont on a plate!! And I LOVE Vermont!
Vermont on a plate! YES! I’ve dreamed of going there ever since I was a kid and my parents visited there in the fall. Three things I remember them bringing home? Fresh apple cider, real maple syrup, and lots of cheese! 🙂 This really looks amazing.
I have NEVER tried one of your recipes that disappointed and I own both of your cookbooks and cook your stuff all the time. My husband raves about all of your recipes and I always say “Its our Best Bites!” He has finally told me to stop saying that…he says he’d rather just believe they came from me :0 ) Sooo….if I didn’t come from that background….I might just be weirded out by this, but as it is we’ll give it a shot!
Haha, well I hope we continue with our good reputation with this one!
Mmmm this so interesting….great combination of flavors. Can’t wait to try it with my boys
Cheese Toast is so normal for our house! haha but I’ve never put maple syrup on it. Love this apple and cheese grilled cheese! yum !
So yes…these need to happen like, yesterday. So perfect for Fall!!
My Grandpa Reynolds always ate his apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese. Brings back memories!
A childhood Swedish neighbor made open face Cinnamon Applesauce Toast with criss crosses of bacon on top. Yum.
I’ve made these before, but without the syrup, and they are delicious! I know that the syrup will be a fantastic addition! Can’t wait to try 🙂
These sound like such a treat!! Yum!
I checked your blog before bed tonight and couldn’t sleep without making this as a snack before bed. We also grew up on the same cheese toast and it was and still.is a favorite. My husband and I loved this take on a classic! We knew we would because we always put cheese on our waffles and the cheese makes the outside extra crispy but leaves the inside soft and light. It is two of our favorite things combined. Thanks for the yummy new staple in our home!