Chocolate Panini with Brie (Without a Panini Press)

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For pretty much any food, you can add either cheese or chocolate. Think about it. Pasta. Toast. Muffins. Salad usually takes cheese. Ice cream usually gets chocolate.

But what if chocolate and cheese were served together? How about melted into each other in a hot sandwich? Skeptical? Don’t be.

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This little panini is a snack and conversation starter that Giada says she serves up to kick off a party. It’s simple to put together whether or not you have a panini press. We do not, so we used our stovetop and oven method for making grilled cheese.

The bread is browned and crispy, and inside the chocolate is gooey and the cheese is soft and melty. To top it off? Basil. Also unexpected, but the herb adds a little something something that brings the sandwich together. It kicks it up and makes the whole thing seem more deliberate while also making it more delicious.

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chocolate panini with brie

Giada says she could eat this sandwich every day for the rest of her life. It’s got the salty-sweet thing going for it, and is unlike any other sandwich I’ve had. 

4 slices sourdough bread
extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
3 or 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
a few large basil leaves, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 375°F.

Bring an ovenproof skillet (I used cast iron) to medium heat. Brush each side of bread with olive oil. Place two slices on the hot skillet and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat on the other side of the bread.

Place the grilled bread on a cutting board or plate and lay half of the thinly sliced cheese on one slice. Top with half of the chocolate and sprinkle with basil. Top off the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Carefully place the sandwich back in the hot skillet and put the whole thing in the oven. Let sandwich cook in oven until the chocolate and cheese starts to melt, which takes 5 or so minutes.

Cut sandwich in half and serve. Repeat steps with the rest of the ingredients to make second sandwich.

Serves 2. Adapted from Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites by Giada de Laurentiis.

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