Take a good garlic knot and make it better…by adding cheese! These Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots are a fun and tasty snack. They’re sure to become a family favorite!
This Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!
Chicago. Chi-town. The Windy City. Home to the Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and ‘da Bears. Founding spot of the iconic deep-dish pizza. But we also have to give Chicago credit for this Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots, too. Well, sorta.
Did you know that Chicago gets it’s name from the Native American word “shikaakwa,” meaning ‘skunk’ or ‘stinky onion?’ According to historians, the stinky onion refers not necessarily to onions, but rather to ramps (or wild leeks) that grow along the riverbank in that area. Of course, as with many historical things, there is a great debate on the true origin of ‘Chicago.’ However, the ramp version is widely accepted, so we’re going with that one today. And those ramps? They’re pretty similar to wild garlic. So in a roundabout way, we’ve established a link between Chicago and garlic. Sorta. (Just roll with it. It makes for a fun story if nothing else!)
Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots
It’s hard to beat a good garlic knot. A buttery, garlicky ball of pizza dough is a thing of beauty! But then I realized the other day that garlic knots don’t involve cheese. Pizza involves cheese. And garlic knots are often made from pizza dough. So therefore garlic knots need cheese, right? Using that as a working hypothesis (hey, we’re really scientific around this house!), I hit the kitchen to figure out how to add cheese to garlic knots. The result? These Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots.
For these Cheesy Garlic Knots, I knew I wanted to go with a cheese that would melt well. We eat a lot of cheese in our house, so we always keep a wide variety on hand. Cabot’s Pepper Jack was the winner in this case! I find their Pepper Jack to be deliciously creamy with just the right amount of spice. However, if you’re concerned about the spicy factor, then just go with Cabot’s Monterey Jack or even their Muenster instead. All of these are excellent melting cheeses!
Cabot is a co-op owned by 800 farm families throughout New York and New England. A couple months after Laura and I moved up here to New York, we took a weekend drive through Vermont. Our first stop on that trip: the Cabot Creamery. We also stopped at a number of breweries, too. Hey, beer and cheese go well together!
Since that trip 10 years ago, I’ve eaten countless blocks of Cabot cheese, and I’ve even had the chance to meet a couple of the farm families that own Cabot. I took Robbie out to visit a local farm last summer, and he still talks about Renee – the cow he met on that trip. I highly recommend Cabot’s cheeses for both cooking and snacking purposes. (Cabot also makes other dairy products, and their butter as well as their vanilla Greek yogurt are both phenomenal – just FYI!)
Turning back to these Cheesy Garlic Knots, my first attempt involved mixing shredded pepper jack cheese into the dough itself. The resulting knots were delicious…but the cheese seemed to have disappeared. In reality, the cheese melted into the dough – kinda like with this Cheesy Focaccia recipe. I really wanted to see the cheese in these garlic knots, so it was back to the drawing board for me. The second time around, I cubed the cheese instead of shredded it. A couple of small cubes went into the center of each knot. The result? Exactly what I was looking for!
Technically these Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots aren’t really knots at all. But I’m ok with it. (If you really want knots, then bounce over to this Parmesan Garlic Knots recipe.) I love using a muffin tin to make garlic knots…and cheesecake…and stromboli…and muffins (obvi). If you’ve only ever used your muffin tin for muffins, then break that thing out and bake some garlic knots in it!
Of course, garlic knots aren’t complete without a buttery topping. I brushed these knots with butter + salt + Italian seasonings…and garlic! That’s right. The garlic for these Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots only gets brushed on it at the end. Trust me, though, these knots are delicious! They make a great snack or appetizer, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Did you bake up a batch of these Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots? Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me (@Spicedblog) and Cabot (@CabotCheese) on Instagram. We’d love to see your version!
Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots
- 4 oz. Cabot Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
- 24 oz. pizza dough homemade or store-bought
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- ¾ tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Cut cheese into ¼” cubes; set cheese aside.
- Divide the pizza dough into 12 equal pieces (~2 oz. each).
- Cut each piece of dough into 5 pieces. Using a circular motion, roll each piece of dough between countertop and palm of your hand until dough ball becomes tight.
- Place 3 balls of dough into bottom of each muffin cup. Place 2-3 cubes of cheese on top of dough balls. Place 2 remaining balls of dough on top of cheese. Brush tops of dough with olive oil.
- Cover pan and place in a warm location for 1 hour, or until dough has risen ~1” over top of pan. (Tip: For a warm location, I put the pan in my oven with just the oven light on.)
- Once dough has risen, bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes, or until tops of garlic bread are lightly browned.
- While garlic bread is baking, melt the butter and stir in the Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and kosher salt.
- Remove garlic bread from oven and brush with the garlic butter mixture. Serve hot.
Looking for more muffin tin recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: