I can't tell you a favorite wine from the night but Stilton with Lemon Peel was my favorite cheese. It was creamy, tangy and a little sweet. I also really enjoyed Deb at Smitten Kitchen's Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies that Rachel and I made for the party. These cookies are light and flaky on the outside with a subtle sweetness from the jam. The cheese flavor is not prominent, so even your cheese-hating (yes, these people exist) friends will enjoy these cookies.
Just be prepared to work for their deliciousness. Most brutal is pushing Farmer's Cheese through a fine mesh strainer though a closer runner up is cutting the rolled out dough into 3 x 3 squares (especially if you are a bit OCD like me) and then cleaning up the jellied pans! We had a LOT of ooze going on with our cookies as they baked. Clearly my sealing/rolling technique needs some work...and it will get it next time I make these (in a single batch as instructed below rather than a double)!
Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies
Reworded from Deb at Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of The Gourmet Cookie Book's recipe
Yields approximately 30 cookies
2 sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, softened
7.5 ounces Farmer Cheese
2 tbsp Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Jam (We mixed it up with some marmalade and raspberry.)
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1. Place butter in a large bowl and cream until smooth. Press cheese through a sieve into creamed butter and stir to combine. Add the sour cream and vanilla, stir again. Whisk together 2 cups of the flour and salt in a separate bowl, then add it gradually to the cheese mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours (longer is better; you will want it quite firm).
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle your counter with a dusting of flour from the remaining 1/4 cup. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut off 1/4 of it. Return the rest to the fridge, then roll the dough out very thinly on the counter (if you put wax paper on top of it you will prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin).
3. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares and put a little less than 1/2 teaspoon jam in the center of each square. Fold the dough in half on the diagonal, pressing firmly down to seal the two sides around the jam. Roll the triangle into crescents, starting at the wide end. Arrange crescents on a baking sheet (they won’t expand terribly much, so just an inch or so between them is fine) and brush them lightly with milk.
4. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer them to a wire rack and sift powder sugar over top of them. Continue making cookies in the same manner until all the dough is used.