when i arrived in tampa for cousin mia's bat mitzvah utterly famished and then was able to immediately pacman seven soft homemade chocolate chip cookies all by myself in my hotel room, i knew that it would be a good weekend. that mia totally nailed her welcome basket. and i was right, her bat mitzvah was indeed the greatest bat mitzvah ever (not just because i snuck into the kids' side of the party and got a t-shirt airbrushed with a chihuahua (?)). mia's welcome basket, in all its chocolate chip cookie and florida oranges glory, totally inspired eggboy and me to want to give our out-of-town wedding guests the same warm sweet welcome when they got to town.
in a perfect world, we would have picked up all of our out-of-town friends at the airport with a homemade lunchable and plenty of warm cookies in tow, but we were busy frosting cakes and stressing out about where to put the tractor that was taking up our entire dance floor, so mum and i did the next best thing and made up cute hotel welcome baskets that (we hope) said prepare for a weekend of fun, cheese, and sprinkles. i loved putting those baskets together! they were actually welcome sacks because they were in fabric flour sacks from the mill that processes eggboy's wheat, but if every task for our wedding was as fun as putting together welcome sacks, by golly, i would get married to eggboy a million times.
our welcome sacks consisted of:
everything bagel cheez-its (recipe below!)
apples and oranges
little bottles of wine
my eyeballs just about popped out of my head when i saw that everything bagel cheddar exists. it is so good. i am such a fan of this movement to apply everything bagel seasoning to more things than just bagels. i basically want to sub everything bagel cheese anytime a recipe calls for cheese: everything bagel cheeseburgers, everything bagel pizza, everything bagel grilled cheese. everything sounds so good with everything bagel in front of it. so i'm starting small, with a nice cheesy cracker that highlights the flavors of this tasty cheese. it's based on my sriracha cheez-it recipe, and if you can't find everything bagel cheddar at your grocery store, you can certainly use plain cheddar and add a few teaspoons of everything bagel seasoning to the mix.
everything bagel cheez-its
makes about 4 servings
8 oz everything bagel cheddar, shredded*
1 c flour
a good pinch of kosher salt
a few turns of black pepper
4 tb unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2-4 tb cold water
*i hate shredding cheese so much. almost as much as i hate using the can opener. i've definitely made this recipe before by ripping the cheese up into chunks, adding it to the food processor with the flour, salt, and pepper, and processing the heck out of it before adding the butter.
preheat oven to 350. line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
place cheese, flour, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until combined. add butter and pulse until the mixture turns to small pea-sized pieces. continue pulsing and add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles couscous and sticks together when you squeeze a small amount in your hand. turn it onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to work the mixture together into a ball of dough. roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness and then cut out 1 1/2-inch squares. place them 1 1/2 inches apart on your baking sheets, sprinkle with a bit more salt if you'd like, and bake for about 20 minutes, until they're lightly browned.