This is a one ingredient recipe that became my son’s favorite after school treat. Cheese crisps started as a simple piece of cheese melted in the microwave, and progressed to an art form and a source of debate in our household in in terms of what kind of cheese, how long it should be cooked, what to cook it on, etc. Cheese crisps are a fun “make it yourself” after school snack for kids or a tasty little appetizer. They are a great way to use little bits of leftover cheese. Cheese crisps can also be crumbled and used as a fancy garnish for salads and soups.
The general premise is that if you take a piece of cheese and heat it in the microwave, first it will melt, then it will become bubbly and finally it will get crispy. During this process some of the fat will also melt out of the cheese. You will end up with a reduced fat piece of crispy cheese goodness. How can you go wrong with that?
I have tried this with almost every type of cheese possible. The lower the fat content of the cheese, the more it will puff up and become crispy prior to becoming brown. The higher fat or more moist cheeses may need to be cooked until they are quite brown before they will become crisp, so they take a bit longer. Every microwave will cook at a different rate too, so you will just need to experiment with this one.
Start by cutting a piece of parchment paper about 5 inches square.
Cut a piece of cheese about 1/4 inch thick. This piece was about 1 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches long. 1 to 1 1/2 ounces is about the maximum amount of cheese you should use and 2 inches is about the maximum width I would recommend for the narrowest side. You can also make this recipe with a 1 ounce pile of grated cheese. Put the cheese on the parchment and place it in the microwave.
Set the time for 2 minutes on full power and turn the microwave on. WATCH CAREFULLY! It takes our microwave between 1 to 1 1/2 minutes for the cheese to be fully crisped up and ready. First it will melt, then it will start to get bubbly.
The cheese above is melted and starting to get crispy. This cheese was low fat so it cooked in 70 seconds and was crispy before it became brown. The cheese crisps up as it cools so when you first take it out of the oven it may not be crispy, but in a minute or two it will crisp up. If it is not to your liking you can alway cook it a few more seconds.
Here are pictures of a much higher fat and higher moisture content cheese: Laura Chenel Chevre (Fresh Goat Cheese). It was so soft I was surprised that I could cook this one to a crispy texture. I had to sort of smash the cheese together into a mass on the paper:
As you will see from the picture, a lot of moisture and oil was left on the parchment and the surface of the cheese when it was finished cooking. Just blot the fat and moisture off with a paper towel.
After they have cooled for a minute or so, take the cheese crisps off the parchment and place them on a plate and you are ready to reuse the parchment paper over and over again.
When all your crisps are finished, you can pile them on a plate to serve. Try several different cheeses and serve as an accompaniment to a cocktail or a glass of wine. Goat Cheese and Cheddar Crisps
© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.