Friday, December 20, 2013

#2987 - Baked Italian Cheese Bites

(by Shirley McNevich)

2/3 cup to 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
6 sticks mozzarella string cheese sticks
1 or 2 beaten eggs
warm marinara sauce for dipping

Open up the mozzarella string cheese packets and cut each string cheese into 1" pieces. Place them in a cake pan (so they are not touching), cover the cake pan with foil and freeze them for a few hours. After a few hours, grease a cookie sheet with Pam. In a bowl add the eggs--beat. In a skillet over medium heat add the Italian bread crumbs--cook/stir until bread crumbs are browned. Remove from heat and transfer the bread crumbs into a second bowl. Remove ONE string cheese piece from the freezer (for a test). Using tongs, dip the cheese piece into the egg mixture to coat, then dip it into the bread crumbs to coat, then dip it back in the egg mixture and dip it once again in the bread crumbs to coat. Place it on the greased cookie sheet and spray the coated cheese piece lightly with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then taste to make sure the cheese is melted to your liking. If the cheese melts too much and loses its shape, bake subsequent ones for less time. Once you have the time down dip, coat and place the rest of the cheese pieces all on a cooled/greased cookie sheet. Coat all of the cheese pieces lightly with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for the time you determined with the test piece. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

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