Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pretzel Beer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

If you're looking for a topic everyone can unite behind for the greater good of humans across the globe, I regret to inform you that grilled cheese is not that topic. When I posted my deluxe grilled cheese recipe last year for National Grilled Cheese Day, I quickly learned that many people have very different opinions about whether a sandwich with ingredients other than cheese can even be called a grilled cheese.

So this year as I prepared my segment for National Grilled Cheese Month, I decided to take out the debate completely by only using cheese in my sandwich filling. But of course, I had to make it unique. And this Pretzel Beer Grilled Cheese Sandwich was born!

If I'm being honest, the idea evolved from a lobster roll I had over the weekend from one of my favorite fish places in Indianapolis, Caplinger's Fresh Catch. They use a pretzel roll with their lobster roll which I really appreciate because I feel like pretzel rolls are very underused. Once I decided to use a pretzel roll for my recipe, beer cheese dip was just a natural addition.

But actually, the beer cheese dip which consists of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese works really well in a grilled cheese recipe because it's creamy and it melts well. Also, the shredded cheeses in the dip melt quickly as well.

I sandwiched the beer cheese dip in between two slices of gouda. Gouda will always be one of my favorite cheese to use for grilled cheese because it's extremely flavorful, and it melts really well.

TIP: Avoid "sharp" and "smoked" when picking out your cheeses. Sharp cheddar is aged longer than mild cheddar cheese and does not melt well at all. Avoid it entirely. Also, when you smoke a cheese, it messes with its ability to melt. So avoid smoked gouda, and stick with regular gouda.

Now that we've discussed the best cheeses to use, I'd like to share one more tip: You can make grilled cheese sandwiches for a crowd by cooking them in the oven. Cue gasps! Yes, I said it, it's true. That's why I saved this one for last because I know it would be a bit controversial.

Here's the deal, I hate it when you're trying to make grilled cheese for multiple people on the stove, and no one gets served at the same time. So the first person gets their grilled cheese, and they finish it before the second person is even served. Or their sandwich gets cold while they wait around for everyone else to get served. Cooking grilled cheese sandwiches in the oven solves that problem because you can cook about six to eight sandwiches at the same time. The best way to get the sandwiches to taste like their grilled cheese and not just baked sandwiches is by placing a pan on top while they're baking so the outside of the bread gets crispy just like it would on the stove.

Pretzel Beer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Yield: Makes about 8 sandwiches
  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Challenge butter, melted
  • 8 pretzel rolls or pretzel buns
  • 16 slices gouda cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit; place two baking pans in oven
  2. Beat together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, beer, dijon mustard, and garlic powder. Set aside.
  3. Brush melted butter onto bottom half of pretzel buns; remove one baking pan from oven and place the bottoms of the rolls in the pan. 
  4. Add a slice of gouda to each sandwich. Top with 3 Tablespoons of beer cheese dip mixture. Add another slice of gouda and top with other half of bun.
  5. Brush melted butter on top of sandwiches.
  6. Remove other baking pan from the oven and stick on top of sandwiches. Add heavy objects to top pan to ensure it is weighted down on top of buns, and stick it into the oven.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until everything is melted through.

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