How much do you know about Canadian cheese, and it’s history? Did you know that cheese making in Canada can be traced all the way back to the early 1600s? We’ve got the French settlers to thank for bringing over their methods for making soft, ripened cheeses, and the United Empire Loyalists who were fleeing the American Revolution for introducing the distinctly British characteristics of cheddar. Even by 1867, the year of Confederation, over 200 cheese factories were established in Ontario alone, providing the foundation for the creation of products of the distinct Canadian cheese that we still enjoy today.

Since no party would be complete without a great cheese spread, I’m absolutely thrilled to team up with the Dairy Farmers of Canada to highlight their selections of three distinct Canadian cheeses from local cheese makers across the country, just in time for the big #Canada150 celebrations.

These three cheeses are not only phenomenal in quality and taste, but they come from coast-to-coast. The Devil’s Rock is a creamy blue cheese in a uniquely shaped pyramid and encased in black wax that’s made by Thornloe Cheese Inc., here in in Ontario. The Comox Camembert is a creamy, rich cheese, characterized by it’s edible, downy white rind, that’s made by Natural Pastures in British Columbia. The Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is aged for 14 months in carefully monitored temperature and humidity conditions; it’s firm in texture and has a rich and full-bodied flavour, made by COWS Creamery in Prince Edward Island.

While all of these cheeses are delicious on their own, I was very intrigued by some of the interesting and unexpected pairings found in the Recipes Section of the Dairy Farmers of Canada website for desserts made with cheese. Here I’ve picked 6 of my favourite dessert recipes made with cheese from their site, each one including one of the cheeses from this year’s star lineup. See below for how to make these scrumptious desserts featuring Canada’s top cheeses!

BLUE CHEESE AND DARK CHOCOLATE

Dairy Farmer's Of Canada Dessert Recipes

Super simple and rustic, this dessert is a mix of all things tangy, sweet, bitter and creamy! Try this paired with a full-bodied red wine for a luxe after dinner treat — YUM.

Ingredients:

1 piece (10 g) dark chocolate

1/3 (10 g) Canadian Blue cheese

Method:

Top chocolate square with cheese and enjoy!

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

BLUE CHEESE CARAMELIZED COOKIES

Dairy Farmer's Of Canada Dessert Recipes

Blue cheese in dessert may sound strange but just wait until you taste this. The blend of sweet from the caramel and tangy from the blue cheese is an amazing combo that’s a perfect pairing with a late harvest or ice wine.

Ingredients

12 shortbread cookies
4 oz (120 g) Canadian Blue cheese, sliced
2 tbsp (30 mL) homemade or store-bought caramel sauce

Caramel sauce:

1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) salted butter
2 tbsp (30 mL) 35% cream
Method:

Place the cookies on a serving plate and top with Blue cheese

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the caramel until it has a more liquid consistency

Drizzle caramel over the Blue cheese. Serve immediately!

Caramel sauce:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar until it melts and becomes amber brown.

Add the butter followed by the cream. Stir for 2 minutes until smooth.

Remove from heat and transfer caramel to a bowl. Careful, it is very hot and can cause burns! Let cool.

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

BRIE AND KIWI SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Dairy Farmer's Of Canada Dessert Recipes

These colourful cookies are buttery and creamy and you won’t be able to get enough of that juicy kiwi! The addition of nutmeg adds a beautiful aroma and flavour to the Brie for a truly surprising flavour combination that won’t disappoint.

Ingredients:

1 shortbread cookie

1 kiwi slice

1/2 oz (15 g) Canadian Brie

Pinch of nutmeg

Method:

Top each cookie with a slice of Canadian Brie, a slice of kiwi and a pinch of nutmeg.

Enjoy!

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

BRIE & FRUIT PAVLOVA

Dairy Farmer's Of Canada Dessert Recipes

Pavlova is one of the most elegant desserts you can serve, so why not push the envelope even further and invite Canadian Brie to the party? The addition of creamy Canadian Brie (like the Comox Camembert) tames down the sweetness and pairs deliciously with all of the fruit.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom

3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar

2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh or frozen strawberries

1 – 2 blood or Cara Cara oranges, peeled and sliced

5 oz (150 g) Canadian Brie, sliced

1 container of fresh raspberries

Method:

Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In an electric mixer, beat egg whites with vinegar until stiff peaks form.

Add cornstarch, cardamom and ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar and continue beating for about 5 more minutes.

Transfer mixture to the baking sheet and form 6 or 8 circles about 3½? (9 cm) in diameter and ¾? (2 cm) thick.

Bake in centre of the oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn off oven, partially open door and let meringue cool completely.

In a saucepan, heat strawberries with 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar; cook for 5 minutes. Purée in a blender to make a coulis. Let cool.

Top meringue with strawberry coulis, orange slices, Brie and raspberries; serve immediately!

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

CHEDDAR GRANOLA COOKIES

DairyFarmersCanada_CheddarGranolaCookies

With the addition of granola, you’ve official got the permission to eat cookies for breakfast! If you love it when salty and sweet flavours come together, you’ll be all about this Canadian cheddar and raisin combo. These babies are not only delicious but the whole wheat flour makes them nutritious too!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (180 mL) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (125 mL) whole wheat flour

1 tsp (5 mL) each baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened

1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar

1/3 cup (80 mL) liquid honey

2 eggs

2 cups (500 mL) granola

2 cups (500 mL) shredded Canadian Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) golden raisins

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

In medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

In large mixer bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sugar and honey.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in dry ingredients, granola, Canadian Cheddar cheese and raisins; mix well (batter should be stiff).

Drop tablespoons (15 mL) of batter, 1 dozen at a time, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

With floured fingers, pat into 2 inch (5 cm) circles.

Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets immediately; let cool on wire racks.

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

APPLE PECAN MUFFINS WITH CHEDDAR

DairyFarmersCanada_PecanAppleCheddarMuffin

Did you know Canadian brick cheese got it’s name from the bricks used to press the cheese into shape? Try it in these delicious muffins where the brown sugar adds a caramel vibe and the pecans add a little crunch! This is the perfect summer addition to your brunch muffin basket. Mmmm.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour

1 cup (250 mL) shredded Canadian Brick

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1 1/3 cup (330 mL) peeled apples (Crispin, Spartan, Idared, Cortland), diced

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted pecans

1 egg

1 cup (250 mL) Milk

3/4 cup (180 mL) packed brown sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

Butter 12 nonstick muffin pans or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose and whole wheat flours, cheese, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Stir in apples and pecans.

In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, sugar and butter. Pour over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

Spoon into prepared muffin pan. For a presentation purpose, sprinkle with extra diced apples and chopped toasted pecans.

Bake for about 22- 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

(view this recipe on the Dairy Goodness website here)

For more information on the Dairy Farmer’s of Canada and their products, please visit DairyGoodness.ca

ENJOY!

xo

@GracieCarroll

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