A Southern favorite, adored by all - but my first real foray into the world of baked cheese sticks is when I attempted to make them homemade about 9 or 10 years ago. They were fine for my first attempt, but a little greasy from the cheddar. Luckily there are those that do it far better than I do - and that is John Wm. Macy.
When I was asked if I would review John Wm. Macy's brand CheeseSticks and SweetSticks and post my honest opinion, I was pretty excited to say 'yes!' but also a little leery and inquisitive about the 'sweet' versions. Cheese and... vanilla? In a dessert stick? Hmmm. But ok, I'll give it a go.
This week the sample pack arrived and in just 2 days I was amazed at the many versatile ways this product fit into our everyday menus! While I was really excited about the savory flavors... it ends up that crazy 'SweetSticks' I didn't completely trust was the first one I ended up serving and trying! I was working on a new dessert recipe for homemade berry sherbet. When I scooped it up, I realized the dessert SweetStick was the perfect accompaniment! How cute is this!?
When I took a bite of the sweet and crisp Madagascar Vanilla sticks I instantly knew EXACTLY what I wanted to eat with it... whipped cream! I'm a huge fan of cream puffs and Bavarian Pastry and this not-overly-sweet stick coupled with sweetened whipped cream was heavenly on a warm summer evening.
That evenings meal included a salad of course but as I reached for our regular croutons I saw the John Wm. Macy's CheeseCrisps and knew they would be amazing as a crunchy topping to the salad! AND THEY WERE. They blew regular, everyday croutons out of the water! Not only did they taste amazing, but how fabulous do they look for presentation?
The next night we had a house guest that was going to be here at dinner time so I whipped up this quick appetizer using the CheeseCrisps. So easy, so pretty and so good! They were gobbled up immediately.
John Wm Macy's CheeseCrisps: Sesame Gruyere, Melting Romano or Cheddar & Asiago work best
Toppings: Diced Jalapeno peppers, diced yellow pepper rings, crisp crumbled bacon, sliced olives, diced tomato, cranberry relish, watermelon bbq sauce, cucumber sliced with dill sprigs, diced red pepper, avocado with lime - anything you would like to try
Top each John Wm. Macy CheeseCrisp with a bit of cream cheese, swirling the knife or the pastry bag to form a tiny indentation in the center to hold your additional filling. Top each with a dab of diced peppers, jalapeno's or relishes. Serve!
Original Cheddar, Melting Parmesan, Garlic Romano, Dijon Swiss and Cheddar & Scallion CheeseSticks.
Cheddar & Asiago, Garlic Parmesan, Smoked Jalapeño, Sesame Gruyère or Melting Romano CheeseCrisps.
Dutch Chocolate, Java Cinnamon and Madagascar Vanilla SweetSticks
*For those looking for a snack with zero sugar and the lowest carb count - Cheddar Scallion, Original and Dijon Swiss are your best bets with just 10 carbs and zero sugar per 2 sticks.
They offer orders as a gift assortment or a sample pack, and if you have a dinner, brunch or event coming up and would like some ideas, they have fabulous recipes available on their website as well! You can follow them on Twitter here and don't forget to visit them at their site for orders or more information!