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Making your own better bagel chips and house-made cream cheese can be the start of a whole new Brunch tradition at your house!  And wait till you see how we’ve topped these beauties!  You won’t want to miss the recipe for the British favorite – Savory Potted Prawns either!

better bagel chips with a selection of toppings

BETTER BAGEL CHIPS – You’ll never go back to store-bought chips again!

Now, I’m not even going to claim that this is a recipe, because it’s not really.  I just think that the extra flavor and great texture better bagel chips in basket with box of butterprovided by a really great bagel makes these bagel chips a notch-up from any bagged variety.

Here’s  the simple steps to better bagel chips:

  • Thinly slice bagels with an electric knife (you can use a serrated knife too, but it’s much harder to get thin slices)
  • Melt good quality butter and brush on top of bagel slices, taking care to cover entire surface
  • Add toppings as desired
  • Bake in a 350 oven for approximately 8-12 minutes.  Check after 7-8 minutes and take out any thinner slices that are browning faster than the others. 
  • Store better bagel chips in an airtight storage container or cookie tin for up to 4 days

And I’ve got a few suggestions as to what kind of pre-baked toppings you can add to your better bagel chips:

  • Everything bagel seasoning
  • Garlic butter
  • Caraway seeds and kosher salt
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Lemon Sugar

 

That’s about all that’s necessary to have much better bagel chips that you can ever buy in a store!  Now let’s talk about how to add some fabulous flavors to your Sunday brunch board!

MAKING YOUR OWN CREAM CHEESE IS SO WORTH IT

house-made cream cheese and bagel chipsI know it’s incredibly easy to grab a package of cream cheese in the dairy department of your grocers.  But have you noticed, they aren’t as tangy and rich as they used to be?  The texture isn’t quite creamy enough, or it has a bit of grit left in it?

Other than the most expensive brand name cream cheese, I find that most others fall far short of what I expect from my cream cheese.  One day I just got tired of substandard taste and decided to try my hand at making my own house-made cream cheese.

And by researching articles on the internet and some trial-and-error (and I had a few of those), I’ve come up with a process that produces a lovely, tangy and smooth house-made cream cheese that’s way over-the-top!

The secret ingredient is either lemon juice or white/cider vinegar.  I tried both methods, and here’s what I thought of each version:

  1. Lemon Juice – this produced the best tasting version, with a tang that was just perfect, but it produced less curds that could be whipped into cream cheese
  2. White/Cider Vinegar – both cider and white vinegar gave much larger and more curds, but needed more salt to produce a nicely flavored house-made cream cheese

 

Here’s why this works: the milk and acid ingredients create a reaction which curdles the cheese. Then it’s just the process of straining the cheese from the whey, and what I have left is the beginnings of my cream cheese.

After blending thoroughly, I transfer the mix to a covered crock and keep in my refrigerator.  It’s great for baking and cooking too! 

Don’t wait to try this simple and delicious recipe for making a perfect bowl of creamy, tangy house-made cream cheese!

CLICK THIS LINK TO GET THE RECIPE FOR HOUSE-MADE CREAM CHEESE:  House-Made Cream Cheese

LET’S START WITH A FRUITY AND SOPHISTICATED COMBINATION 

balsamic glazed fruit bagel chip

 

I just love the combination of fruit and cream cheese, don’t you?  Yes, you can purchase a container of strawberry cream cheese, but I don’t know how many actual pieces of fruit it contains.  My guess?  It merely contains fruit juice and an ounce of real fruit.  Maybe.

Unless, of course, you buy a container from your favorite bagel shop!  I know they blend real fruit into their cream cheeses.  But, I don’t always want to plunk down $5 for a little container that will be gone in 10 minutes flat! 

This “recipe” takes care of that issue and takes it a step further too!  I’m all for gilding the lily when the occasion calls for it!

Is all I’ve done is sweeten some sliced berries with a bit of sugar, arrange them on a house-made cream cheese slathered better bagel chip and then drizzle it.  Drizzle it?  Yes, drizzle it!

Drizzle it with what, Nan?  I’ve got two different choices for you, and both are amazing when used on fruit and cream cheese.

You can go with a thickened balsamic vinegar reduction, which I just adore, or a Pomegranate Molasses, which is a staple in my refrigerator.  I’m so in love with this concoction that I dip a spoon into the sticky mixture and eat it like a lollipop!

To make pomegranate molasses, just:

  • Simmer 2 cups pomegranate juice until it is thickened into a syrupy mixture and store in refrigerator, like forever! This will take at least 10-15 minutes, so keep an eye on the mixture to keep for scorching.

Again, this isn’t exactly what I would call a recipe, but it’s a fabulous “concept” that can be used with any of your favorite fruits you have on hand.

Next, we’ll move into savory territory with one of my all time favorite spreads.

GARLIC AND GORGONZOLA SPREAD – I’ve been making this for over 20 years!garlic and gorgonzola spread on better bagel chips

This simple and versatile savory spread is not only delicious on Better Bagel Chips, but you should taste it on a hot and juicy hamburger, fresh of the grill!  Absolutely sublime!

I like to roast garlic in extra-virgin olive oil to add as a garnish to the Garlic Gorgonzola Spread.  Then I usually toss on some chopped chives for a bit of color and to complement the garlic flavor.

White is so boring, you always need a bit of color.  Sometimes I’ll grind some fresh black pepper over top of my prepared bagel chip to add a little extra “bite” too. 

I like to keep a batch in the refrigerator for a quick happy hour appetizer or snack.  Try it soon, and you’ll be making it for years to come!

NAN’S TIP:  Try rolling the Garlic and Gorgonzola spread into balls and coating in nuts or herbs.  They make fantastic cheese balls.  For an extra neat presentation, slide a lollipop stick in and present them in a tall glass!  Trey cool for brunch!

garlic and gorgonzola spread in bowl with bagel chips

Garlic and Gorgonzola Cheese Spread

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Redolent with garlic and flavorful gorgonzola, this tasty spread packs a ton of flavor on crackers or bagel chips!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh chives or rosemary, chopped for garnish
  • Crackers, Bagel Chips, etc.

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 84Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 20mgSodium 136mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 2g

Calorie count may differ according to the specific ingredients used.

EVERY BRUNCH NEEDS SOME VEGIES, SO HERE THEY ARE!

Who doesn’t love the combination of fresh, crunchy vegetables on cream cheese?  And I’m sure that’s why a vegetable cream cheese is so popular.  I’ve never actually purchased one, but I’ve made my own hundreds of times.  It’s one of those things you throw together without a recipe per se, you just go by “feel”.

One day I was chopping up some radishes and red onion for our better bagel chips, and was munching on a half-sour pickle.  I thought, why not?  So I added in some chopped pickles and found they gave a touch of sour that was almost perfect.  crunchy vegetable better bagel chips

What did it need? I opened the refrigerator and looked around.  Capers.  That’s what was missing.  A pique touch that would round out the sour from the pickles and slight sweetness of the vegetables.

And that’s how this combination of better bagel “topper” came to be.  It’s always an adventure in the kitchen when we start getting creative, isn’t it?

Here’s what I put on my Crunchy Vegetable Better Bagel Chips:

  • Diced half-sour or garlic-dill pickles
  • Capers
  • Diced radish
  • Chopped red onion
  • Italian parsley

 

I didn’t have any fresh dill on hand, but that would also be a lovely addition to this pique and tasty combination.  Isn’t that a colorful and pretty presentation?

 

savory potted prawns in ramekins with bagel chips

SAVORY POTTED PRAWNS – A British treat that’s fabulous on Bagel Chips!

Savory Potted Prawns is a traditional British dish made with shrimp flavored with anchovy and nutmeg or mace.

ingredients for savory potted prawns on a cutting boardThe dish is usually set in a small pot or ramekin, with the butter acting as a preservative. Some type of heat is usually added, either cayenne pepper, or a hot sauce as I use in my version of this classic appetizer. 

Potted shrimp was a favorite dish of Ian Fleming who passed on his predilection for the delicacy to his fictional creation James Bond.

I remember fondly reading about this strange dish in his books when I was young.  (it seemed strange to a young Polish gal, anyway!)

YOU COOK THE PRAWNS IN A “BUTTER BATH”!

This is such a simple recipe, but yields a very “fancy” presentation of shrimp preserved in a lovely anchovy, garlic and mace butter sauce.

You actually want to cook the butter sauce a few minutes to help start the flavors to meld.  Then the sauce sits off the heat while you peel and devein the shrimp.   This extra step allows you to serve your Savory Potted Prawns only 24 hours after preparing, as opposed to the usual 48 hours. 

HERE’S THE LINK TO THIS FABULOUS RECIPE:  Savory Potted Prawns

BETTER BAGEL CHIPS GO SO WELL WITH LOTS OF FOODS

spring pea soupHere’s a selection of recipes from our archives that go perfect with Better Bagel Chips.  Why not try a few out!

Spring Pea Soup with Creme Fraiche

Pistachio & Fig Brie Wheel with Pita & Bagel Chips

Wild Turkey Maple Bacon Onion Jam – A Perfect Gift!

Five Fabulous Pretzel Dipping Bar Recipes

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