Baked Juustoleipa (Cheese) Sticks
1/2 cup Japanese style bread crumbs (Panko)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
12 ounces Juustoleipa* or Mozzarella string cheese
1/2 cup prepared marinara or Buffalo sauce, optional
Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil which has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Place bread crumbs and Italian seasoning in non-stick skillet; over medium heat and stirring, cook until crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg until foamy, place in shallow bowl.
Slice Juustoleipa cheese into sticks (if using cheese sticks, remove from wrapper). Dip cheese sticks in egg then roll in toasted crumbs to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 5-6 minutes. Juustoleipa will keep its shape well during baking. Mozzarella cheese may melt slightly and lose shape, simply press it back into place. Serve with marinara or buffalo dipping sauce.
Recipe is a slight adaptation of “Baked Mozzarella Sticks” created by 3-Every-Day™ of Dairy. Dipping sauce is not included in nutrition analysis. Nutrition was calculated using a part skim milk cheese. Recipe serves 6.
*Juustoleipa (pronounced you-stow-lay-PAH) is cheese native to Finland where it demands considerable shelf space in the market. “Juusto” means cheese and Juustoleipa translates into bread cheese. Juustoleipa is a mild cheese unique in the aspect that during processing it is grilled or baked to create a crust (the only process in the world to do so). It keeps its shape when heated and freezes very well (without crumbling). The Americanized version was developed in Wisconsin at the Dairy Research Lab. The recipe was then shared with the Western Dairy Research lab at Utah State University who developed for local artisan cheese makers.