It is always a treat to find vintage party-food recipes in my mom’s recipe box. This particular one takes cheese straws up a notch by using a similar dough to encase pimento stuffed green olives for a briny, cheesy appetizer.
I decided these would be my game day treat for when the New Orleans Saints play the Los Angeles Rams today in the NFL Conference Championship.
I only baked half and froze the rest for the next event. Who knows – it could be for Super Bowl LIII!
If you use something other than extra sharp cheddar, you will need to add a bit more flour as the dough will not firm up enough.
48 to 50 small manzanilla olives (pimento stuffed green olives)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into 8 tablespoons
8 oz (about 2 cups) extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Drain the olives and pat them with paper towels to dry them.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour and spices until well-mixed. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, grated cheese and softened butter. Pulse until combined. Crack the egg into the food processor and pulse until a dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Remove the dough and work with half at a time. Break off 24 teaspoon to marble-sized pieces of the dough and flatten them into the palm of your hand, making a small disk just large enough to encase an olive. Place an olive in the center of the dough, then wrap the dough around the olive until it’s sealed. Roll it in your palms until it is smooth and ball-shaped. Place the ball on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the dough is used, spacing the balls about an inch apart.
At this point you can bake them right away, refrigerate them for baking later or, even freeze the dough on cookie sheets, and then store them in zip top bag for baking at a later date.
If you’re baking these immediately, place the cookie sheet with the dough into a preheated 400 degree F oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, watching carefully, or until the dough is lightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer the bites to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If frozen, allow the dough to thaw while the oven preheats. Bake them about 5 minutes longer when they’ve been frozen.