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Wisconsin Blue Cheese Napoleons with Honey and Almonds

Wisconsin Blue Cheese Napoleons with Honey and Almonds

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Yield: 6 appetizer or cheese course servings.

1 Tbsp. almond oil
pinch of mace
4 fennel seeds, crushed
pinch of kosher salt
3 oz. (scant 1 cup) whole almonds, with skins
18 thin slices brioche
1/2 cup melted butter, divided
3/4 cup honey
10 oz. Wisconsin Blue Cheese, crumbled
as needed for garnish, reduced balsamic vinegar
as needed for garnish, baby greens or arugula

Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine almond oil, mace, fennel seeds and salt in a bowl. Toss almonds in the mixture. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake until deeply roasted, about 10 minutes. Cool. Chop nuts coarsely.

Using a 6" ring mold, cut circles from 6 of the slices of brioche. Using a 3" ring mold, cut circles from remaining slices of brioche.

Butter all the bread slices with half of the melted butter and toast flat in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a sautè pan, gently heat remainder of butter with the chopped nuts over low heat until the butter begins to brown and the nuts become aromatic. Remove from heat.

For presentation: In the center of a presentation plate, place a few drops of the reduced balsamic vinegar and a few drops of honey. Place one of the 6" rounds of toasted bread in the center of the plate. Place the 3" cutter mold atop the 6" bread round. Layer the following ingredients inside the mold in this order: Blue cheese, nuts, honey and 3" bread round. Repeat. Press together gently and remove mold. Repeat process using remaining ingredients, making 6 napoleons. Garnish napoleons with baby arugula or greens of choice.

Recipe Provided By: Chef Jan Birnbaum.