Outstanding Berry Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is a beloved comfort food that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Although there isn’t much that needs to be added to cheese to make it delicious, the inclusion of tart strawberries and blackberries in this recipe titled “The Sweet Sheep Grilled Cheese” from “The Reading Terminal Market® Cookbook” (Camino Books) by Ann Hazan and Irina Smith pushes this sandwich over the edge of deliciousness. An additional cookie butter spread and chocolate chips makes this grilled cheese much more dessert than lunch, and can be an indulgent treat anyone can enjoy.

The Sweet Sheep Grilled Cheese
Makes 5 servings

2 cups Valley Shepherd whipped sheep milk ricotta
1 cup mascarpone cheese
10 slices soft brioche sandwich bread
3⁄4 cup blackberry jam
1 cup hulled and diced strawberries
1 cup diced peaches
1⁄2 cup cleaned blackberries, cut into quarters
3⁄4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup speculoos cookie butter (see note)
1⁄2 cup softened unsalted butter

1. In a bowl, mix together ricotta and mascarpone.
On a clean, dry surface, lay out five slices of the brioche. Spread equal parts blackberry jam on each slice. Place a large spoonful of the mascarpone ricotta mix on top of jam (it may be helpful to use a piping bag) until all the mixture is used.

2. Evenly divide strawberries, peaches, blackberries and chocolate chips among each slice. Spread the speculoos cookie butter on the remaining five slices of brioche and place on top of the first slices.

3. Spread the softened butter in a thin layer on the outer parts of the brioche. Grill in either a panini press or in a hot pan. Slice and serve hot.

Note: If speculoos is too hard to find, here’s how to make it. Place 2 cups of ginger snaps in the bowl of a food processor and blend to very fine crumbs. Add 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter, and process until a smooth paste forms (similar to consistency of peanut butter). Refrigerate leftover portion and bring to room temperature when using.

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