baked cheddar olives
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(contributed by Nancy)
These standbys of the 1950s parties somehow fell off of everyone’s radar. Crispy and cheesy on the outside and salty on the inside; they’re irresistible. From the Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl
1 cup coarsely grated sharp Matanuska Creamery Cheddar (about 4 ounces)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
20 small pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained and patted dry
1. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Stir together cheese, flour, and cayenne in a bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until a dough forms. If dry, add a little water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and stir until the dough comes together.
3. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a sheet of wax paper and place 1 olive on each piece of dough. Lightly flour your hands and wrap dough around olives, enclosing each one completely. Transfer olives to a baking sheet with sides and bake until pastry is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
The dough-wrapped olives can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerated on the baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Cook’s note: You can also just take pinches of the dough, place it in the palm of your hand and flatten it using your other hand. Place the olive in the middle of the dough and enclose it with the dough. And this just in…a tip from LJ-you can make them ahead of time and freeze them. Just bake them a little longer.
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