This recipe was originally published in the Roanoker Magazine “Behind the Page” blog. Please visit theroanoker.com for more yummy recipes and bubbly!
Remember cheddar olive poppers from the 1950s? Pimiento stuffed olives wrapped in flakey cheddar pastry with a little cayenne pepper sprinkled with cute little sesame seeds? Just the right size to pop in your mouth as you enjoy a cocktail? These retro snacks are the perfect little something to serve our guests during the holidays. Here’s my updated recipe using pepper sauce for extra zing.
Cheddar Olive Poppers
Yield: 42 poppers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (use block cheddar cheese, not pre-packaged shredded cheese)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Clark and Hopkins Quintana Roo Pepper Sauce (available at Ladles and Linens, Wine Gourmet or on-line)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 5 teaspoons milk
- 42 pimento-stuffed green olives, small to medium, drained & patted dry (I use Mario Spanish olives for this recipe. Grocery brand olives tend to be a little mushy for this recipe.)
- 1⁄3 cup sesame seeds (white, black, or a mixture of both – black sesame seeds can be found at Fresh Market in the Asian foods section or in the Kroger spice section)
Spray cooking sheet very lightly with vegetable oil spray.
Beat grated cheese and butter together in a mixer or food processor, then stir in the flour, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time until the dough is smooth.
Roll out dough on floured surface. Cut dough into little squares, just enough to cover the olives.
Press the dough around an olive, covering it well and rolling the dough into a ball with your palms.
Mix together the sesame seeds in a small bowl; roll each ball in the seeds, then place on cookie sheet; bake for 15 minutes (watch carefully so they do not burn); serve warm.
These melty cheesy sandwiches live up to their name – they are a dream! If you don’t make any other appetizer for the holidays – make these! A popular recipe from Southern Living with a couple of twists that I added.
Yield: 30 petite sandwiches
- 2 cups finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 15 slices crisp bacon, cut in fourths
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (available at Fresh Market in the spice section, also sold as “ground mustard” in the Kroger spice section)
- 2 tablespoons Clark and Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Pepper Sauce
- 1 (16-oz.) package firm white sandwich bread slices (such as Pepperidge Farm White Sandwich Bread)
- Spanish Paprika
Preheat oven to 375°. Beat cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat in heavy cream and next 5 ingredients.
Cut crusts from white bread slices; cut each bread slice into 4 squares. Spread cheese mixture on half of bread squares (about 1 tsp. per square), top the cheese mixture with 2 small pieces of bacon and top each with 1 remaining square. Spread remaining cheese mixture over top of sandwiches. Place sandwiches, 1 inch apart, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle sandwiches with a little paprika.
Bake at 375° for 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
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Recipe column: Southern Spoonful ~ The Roanoker Magazine
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