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Olive Pecan Bites

Serves: Makes 16 to 20 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • ½ cup sour cream


  • Olive Pecan Filing:
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (medium or half sharp/half medium)
  • 1 cup finely chopped green olives with pimientos
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise


Procedures:

My friend Joe McDonnal taught me to make this great recipe. Joe owns The Ruins, a wonderful private dinner club in Seattle that is also one of the city’s top catering companies. The blend of crisp pastry and salty-nutty filling makes them the ideal nibble with cocktails or wine before dinner. I’ve had more than a few friends confess to me that they’re addicted to this aperitif snack.

One of the best things about this recipe is how convenient it can be for last-minute plans. With a couple of the logs in the freezer (I often quadruple the recipe), I can be ready to go with a snack in no time flat.
  1. Combine the flour, paprika, and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter pieces and pulse until evenly blended to a sand-like consistency. Add the sour cream and pulse just until the mixture is pebbly. Turn the mixture out onto the work surface and form into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.


  3. For the filling, stir together the pecans, cheese, olives, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl until well blended.


  4. Roll the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle about ⅛ inch thick, then trim it to a tidy rectangle 12 inches by 10 inches. Cut the dough into 4 lengthwise strips, each 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.


  5. Spoon one quarter of the filling down the center of a pastry strip, using your fingers to form it into a compact cylinder about 1 inch wide. Roll the pastry around the filling, pinching well all along the seam to seal. (This is an important step to ensure the log doesn't burst when baked; take care to fully seal that edge.) Repeat to make 3 more logs.


  6. Set the logs seam side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cutting board. Cut the logs into ½-inch slices (discard, or snack on, the end pieces), arrange on a serving platter, and serve warm.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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