These are the excuse you’ve been waiting for: invite friends, GF or otherwise, for drinks and bake a batch from scratch: satisfaction guaranteed!
Seductive Cheddar Bites pair perfectly with a summer G&T, bright sangria, cold cerveza, or fresh lemonade. Uncle Howard (HIM again!) has kept us stocked with Chase’s Gin from his hometown of Herefordshire in the UK, so I had gin on my mind when I decided to make biscuits for convivial conversation on the terrace before dinner.
They’re inspired by an hors d’oeuvre Susan served at a Summer Solstice cocktail party: rich cheesy pastry dough rolled around green olives. We’ll show three variations, but prefer the wafer thin biscuits. Serve them with salsa, chutney, a slice of cucumber sprinkled with fresh dill, a dab of pesto, whatever. It will depend upon the flavor of seeds (or cheese) in which you roll the dough.
Whether or not gin is safe for people with Celiac Disease is debated. I recommend that those with a formal diagnosis or extreme gluten sensitivity stay away. Vodka, tonic, and lime (with a splash of pure cranberry juice) is just as nice. Cold River, a local Maine distiller, makes one that is GF. Check out the links – be informed – be safe….
Be sure you treat yourself to these little “bites”!
Cheddar Bites – Makes 24 – 40 individual “bites”
1 cup (6 oz.) GF flour mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/8 teaspoon grated pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 egg yolk
(24 – 30) Mild Kalamata (or your favorite) Olives – pitted
1 -2 tablespoons seeds (caraway, sesame, poppy, a blend….) 1/4 cup grated cheese, Parmesan, Robusto… something dry, or dried herbs
1. Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Mix to blend. Add the garlic and blend once more to coat.
3. Add the cold butter and mix until the consistency resembles coarse corn meal.
4 Add the grated cheese, cream cheese, and egg yolk. Blend until the dough comes together in a (ball.)
5. If wrapping olives or pressing them into the centers of the biscuits, measure the dough into 1/2 half ounce portions (about 24). Pat the dough into rounds, large enough to envelope an olive, in the palm of your hand. Draw the dough around the olive, pressing firmly, roll into a round and place on the parchment covered cookie sheet, spaced 1 – 2 inches apart; they won’t spread much. Chill for 20 – 30 minutes.
If making biscuits, roll the dough into two logs about 1 1/4 inches thick. Sprinkle seeds on plastic wrap and gently roll the dough on the seeds (or parmesan cheese), coating as evenly as possible. Roll the dough completely in the plastic wrap and chill for 30 – 60 minutes (or up to 24 hours.)
6. Preheat the oven to 375. If baking either variation using olives, bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. If baking biscuits, slice the dough logs into 1/8″ thick rounds. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
8. Serve the cheddar olive bites warm or at room temperature. Serve the biscuits at room temperature with the topping of your choice.
Note: These are GF, and will absorb moisture, so if topping with salsa or cucumber slices, let guests make their own at the POS.
Enjoy making and serving these!