How to be Classy in College

Bonne Maman Blueberry preserves: a genuine product of France!

In an effort to get some of my friends together over delicious munchies, Haley and I embarked on a gastronomic journey last weekend that involved a significant amount of cheese. One of my most famous recipes is baked brie, which is literally the simplest hors d’oeuvre to make. We also experimented with manchego, and ended up with some delectable half-moon melts that were a pleasant surprise. So here, in a few simple steps, are two amazing recipes that will help you stay classy amidst all the beer pong and Doritos.

Easy Baked Brie

*serves a small group of people if they’re hungry, a larger group if, like us, they’re trying to watch their cheese intake. For a large party however, I would definitely make 2 – it goes fast!

Bring on the crackers, it's ready to be dug into.


Every time I make this, someone asks me how I do it. Honestly, it is the most basic recipe ever, and I’ve probably screwed up toast more times than I’ve screwed up this simple and classy recipe for baked brie.


1 round of President baked brie (I swear this can be found at most grocery stores, and it’s the preferred brie even in France)

1 pack of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls dough

1 jar of Smucker’s Apricot preserves (this recipe could also work well with fig spread, or brown sugar and maple syrup)

1 box of crackers, for serving. I prefer Townhouse.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning

1. Take the brie out of the packaging, and slice off the top layer of the rind (the white stuff on the outside). There’s no need to take off the entire rind, it actually gives the cheese really great flavor and helps it hold its shape while it bakes. Place the brie directly on a cookie sheet.

2. Spread the apricot preserves generously all over the brie, letting it spill over the sides and covering it completely. Trust me, this stuff is delicious!

3. Unroll the crescent roll dough into flat pieces (you’ll see that they’re kind of perforated; use these small pieces to cover the brie) and lay them over the brie one at a time, covering the cheese round completely and allowing the dough pieces to overlap – the different layers of dough give the brie great texture and more to munch on!

4. Make sure that the dough is completely intact over the cheese, tucking it in at the sides to make sure it stays in place. Place the cookie sheet in the oven (once it’s ready).

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes – it really shouldn’t take more than 12-13. Check on it occasionally to make sure that it’s not burning: the outside should be baked a little lighter than a golden brown, and you should just be beginning to see the jam ooze out of the dough.

6. Remove, let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy! I prefer to serve with Townhouse crackers – they’re just buttery enough to complement the buttery dough.

How delicious does that apricot jam look?

Manchego Half-Moon Melts

I literally invented this recipe last weekend when I realized more people were coming over than I had planned for. I looked at what I had to work with and put this together. It turned out to be incredibly delicious, and with a few variations will surely become a favorite.

The melts just before baking time: oozing with deliciousness.


* For a larger crowd, go for 2 blocks of manchego and way more bagels. This recipe made about an entire plateful of the snacks, but the more the merrier!

1 block of Manchego cheese (a splurge even at Target, but totally worth it)

4-6 Pepperidge Farm Everything bagels – this is just what we used due to a lack of options, but I think that this recipe would work well with focaccia bread or a sliced baguette with some herbs. The everything bagels worked perfectly because it provided the savory taste, while the blueberry preserves gave it a good sweetness. But either way, it’s your choice!

1 jar of Bonne Maman Blueberry Preserves (a true French import – found at Wal Mart, of all places!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning

We served the delectable crescent melts in a spiral for aesthetic appeal - just lovely!


1. Slice each bagel in half and separate the halves (so each single bagel yields 4 small crescents)

2. Slice off small pieces of the manchego cheese and place randomly on the crescents. Manchego is pretty hard to cut, but the jagged little pieces of cheese add a great chunkiness and texture. It’s best if you can get them sliced into triangles to lay on the bagels, but experiment with different amounts of cheese – some people like more (ahem, me) and some prefer less.

3. Spread about 2 spoonfuls of the blueberry preserves on top of the cheese on each crescent, letting it spill over the sides if it wants to and letting it be a little goopy.

4. Spread the crescents out on a cookie sheet, leaving a little room in between each, and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. They will be done once the cheese has melted almost completely.

5. Remove, let cool for a few minutes, and serve!

Dig in!

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