Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recipe: Baked Cheese Olive Balls

***This recipe always gets many requests, and compliments. I’m actually making a new batch today for the freezer. This time I purchased almond stuffed olives, and think that’ll give a different twist to this favorite recipe.

Baked Cheese Olive Balls

1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (your favorite)
40 large green olives, with pimento

In a medium-size bowl, cream butter. Mix in flour, cheese, paprika, cumin, and hot sauce. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least an hour (can be made ahead a day ahead).

Dry olives on paper towels. With a ball of cheese mixture that is close in size to the olive, flatten the cheese mixture in your palm, plop the olive in the center, work the mixture up around the olive, and then very gently roll it around betwwen your palms. Make sure the cheese mixture completely seals in the olive. Repeat with remaining olives.

Place the cheese-wrapped olives on a parchment-lined (or wax paper) baking sheet and place in freezer until frozen. These can be stacked three layers, just put the paper between each layer, making sure they aren't touching. Once frozen, you can store in resealable plastic bags in the freezer until you are read to bake them.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If you are planning to bake immediately, place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Prior to baking, remove olive from the freezer and allow to stand at room temperature for approximately 15 minute (while the oven is heating). Place olives on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to slightly warm. Serve at room temperature to slightly warm.

Makes 40 cheese olive balls.

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