If you haven’t already noticed, I’m really into brunch. I love making big, plentiful brunches for people I love. For some reason, that’s one of my favorite ways to show affection.
There is one unique little hurdle when it comes to hosting brunch: your guests are guaranteed to show up hungry and can’t help but want their morning meal to be ready sooner than later. This leaves you, the munchies emcee, with 3 choices:

-Rise and shine at 5 am and start cooking– very quietly; risk food being ready and cold too early.

-Leave your guests to politely waste away until it’s time to eat.

-Make what you can ahead of time, giving you more control over serving timing.

I highly recommend the latter of those options, but there will still be a bit of wait time no matter what. I can help raise the bar and bridge the gap– have an appetizer available! I know a breakfast appetizer sounds strange, but if you think about it, breakfast is the most ideal meal to precede with an hors d’oeuvre. It keeps your guests satiated and entertained while the finishing touches are still pending on the main morning fare. It will buy your guests a lot more patience and you a bit more time.
For a sweeter version of this appetizer, check out my Lemon-Poppyseed cream cheese with Blueberry bagel bites!

 

Everything cheese WWM3
In developing and testing this recipe, I learned a few things about bagel chips. They can be very tricky to find; they’re rarely, if ever, stocked with the chips. First, start by checking the supermarket’s cracker and pretzel sections. If you don’t find them there, move on to the specialty or gourmet section. Lastly, check near the deli, specialty cheese, and bakery sections. If they’re not at the supermarket, another option would be searching specialty stores like Whole Foods.
From what I understand, bagel chips sound very easy to make at home. There are plenty of DIY bagel chips recipes online. The only reason I didn’t make them myself this time is because I preferred the chips with a hole in the middle to more clearly show they are bagels. I had to special order them online to get that particular kind, and even then, I wasn’t able to get them in plain. This brings me to my final and most important point: whether your bagel chips are homemade or store-bought, steer clear of high salt content. As delicious as salt is, usually our taste buds aren’t ready for it first thing in the morning and are very easily overwhelmed, ruining an appetite for the main meal.

I would recommend making this a day in advance and then rolling it in the coating within an hour of serving.

Bagel chips w spread WWM


Everything Cream Cheese Ball  Feeds 4-5
1 stick (8 oz) softened cream cheese (I like reduced fat)
1 Tbsp black and/or white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp dried toasted minced onion
2 tsp dried minced garlic
2 tsp toasted onion powder
½ tsp poppy seeds
¼ tsp roasted garlic powder
¼ tsp ground caraway (optional)
small pinch salt
pinch ground black pepper

Crumb Coating
¼ C breadcrumbs toasted in 2 tsp butter
1 Tbsp minced toasted onion
2 tsp  dried minced garlic
2 T black and/or white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

7 oz. bag plain bagel chips
Minced chives or scallions, for garnish

 

Mix all cheese ball ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Transfer the entire mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap, and enclose the plastic around the cream cheese, making the best sphere shape you can. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, toss together the crumb coating ingredients and set aside or store in an airtight container until it’s time to serve the cheese ball. This step can be done well in advance.
Place crumb coating in a wide bowl or small pan and roll the cream cheese ball in it for a couple minutes until it can’t pick up any more coating. Try to maintain the round shape of the ball during this process.
Place cheese ball on a serving dish, surround with bagel chips, sprinkle on scallions or chives, and serve.

This spread really is strangely addictive. The interior is creamy and tangy while the exterior is crispy and toasty, and all of it is packed with yummy flavor. The chives dress everything up a bit and add such a delicious freshness that really makes the snack! Have this breakfast canape ready with some mimosas and a pot of hot coffee, and your guests will feel like they’re brunching at Ina Garten’s place!
For a sweeter version of this appetizer, check out my Lemon-Poppyseed cream cheese with Blueberry bagel bites!


Everything cheese w void and chip WWM


 

 

 

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