Betsy’s Retro Cheese Olive Bites

This recipe is from the post: Party On!

(Makes about 4 dozen, can be halved)

There are so many variations on these 50’s styled bits of goodness, but I think a little spice is nice. The olives provide all the salt you’ll need in these super easy hors d’oeuvres, which surprise and delight guests when they bite into them. They can be served hot, warm or at room temp, and the unbaked dough freezes beautifully. Because of that, I like to keep some in the freezer to have when I need them!

2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Cabot)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, you can add a teensy bit more if you like it
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
48 plus small manzanilla olives (pimento stuffed green olives), drained and patted with a paper towel.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F if you’re planning on baking these right away. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, or you can use a Silpat if you prefer. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cheese, flour, cumin and cayenne until well-mixed. Add the softened butter and mix it into the dry mixture with your hands until a dough forms. Scoop teaspoon to marble-sized pieces of the dough and flatten them into the palm of your hand, making a small disk just large enough to encase an olive. Place an olive in the center of the dough, then wrap the dough around the olive until it’s sealed and ball-shaped. Place the ball on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the dough is used, spacing the balls about an inch apart. At this point you can bake them right away, refrigerate for a while and then bake, or freeze the dough on cookie sheets, and then store the frozen balls in a freezer bag for baking at a later date.

If you’re baking these immediately, place the cookie sheet with the dough into the 400 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, watching carefully, or until the dough is lightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer the bites to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If frozen, they’ll keep about 4-6 weeks in the freezer. When ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw a bit while the oven preheats. You may need to bake them about 5 minutes longer when they’ve been frozen, but it depends on how much they’ve thawed. Just watch them.


7 thoughts on “Betsy’s Retro Cheese Olive Bites

  1. Popped in to say I made these before Christmas as my offering for book group, and they went down a treat. Totally tasty and easy to make, although I think the olives I used were bigger than yours so I halved them to make it easier! Delicious Betsy 🙂


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