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Patti Graff | Medina EC

Use a retro pantry staple—cheese spread—to create this savory baked snack. “My mom included this in a recipe book she compiled and gave to me when I got married 37 years ago,” Graff says. “It’s always a favorite, especially at our annual Christmas brunch.” Assemble the puffs in advance and freeze so you can bake as many as you need at a moment’s notice.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
2 jars (5 ounces each) cheese spread
50 pitted olives (black olives, manzanillo or a combination)

1. Using a wooden spoon, combine the butter, flour and cheese spread in a mixing bowl (or use cold butter and combine the ingredients in a food processor). When dough is smooth and has a uniform texture, form into 1-inch balls. Flatten each ball and shape the dough around an olive. Place the dough-covered olive on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and olives, then freeze. Once frozen, place the olives in a sealable plastic bag and store in freezer up to 2 months.

2. To bake, heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the olives on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart, and bake 15–20 minutes, until golden and slightly brown on the bottom. Serve the olives warm or at room temperature.

Makes 50 olive cheese puffs.

December 2018 Recipe Contest