I’m not a fan of appetizers. I don’t ever need my appetite stimulated. I’m hungry as a bear at meal time.

So, I eat ’em all and spoil my supper. However, the two I’m sharing with you today are so delicious and, I thought, unusual. The blue cheese recipe is quick to prepare and really easy. Don’t prepare it ahead of time, though. You can speed up the process some by having the ingredients assembled and measured. The pimento round dough has to have time to chill. A round in the fridge is ideal for this time of year.

Don’t prepare and plan to reheat either of them.

I used store bought Ballard’s Farm jalapeno spread (pimento cheese) and really liked it. My homemade pimento cheese does not lend itself to this recipe. I shared the cinnamon pecan cookies recipe with you nearly 20 years ago. Since it is my all-time favorite cookie, I thought it was time to remind you and to make sure the cooks who’ve come along since then have the recipe. You know, they were about 6 years old the first time I printed it. I know you can keep the cookie dough in the fridge for several days with no loss in flavor or texture. You probably can freeze the baked cookies. I don’t advise freezing the dough. Of course, neither cookies nor cookie dough survive to be frozen at my house.

Pimento Cheese Rounds

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup cold pimento cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/4 cup softened butter

Strawberry jam or apricot preserves

Mix flour and pimento cheese thoroughly. It will be dry. Add pecans and butter. Mix well. Make into a tight roll, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice roll into equal number of pieces about 1/4 thick.

Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the center if half the rounds. Top with the other half of the rounds. Press edges lightly to seal as best you can. Bake until golden, 12 -15 minutes. Serve warm.

Blue cheese and

walnut appetizers

1 Pillsbury crescent roll dough sheet

1/2 cup (approximately) apricot preserves

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Unroll dough onto parchment paper.

Spread preserves evenly on dough. Sprinkle walnuts, cheese and craisins in layers evenly over preserves.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden.

Cut into squares and serve warm.

Cinnamon pecan cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

4 cups sifted all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 “fat” cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. With a mixer on medium speed, cream shortening and sugars until light. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Whisk together dry ingredients. Combine egg mixture and dry ingredients until well blended. Stir in nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet about two inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 3-5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat several whilst still warm. Store tightly covered.

Miss Olivia Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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