Monday, July 16, 2012
Raise your hand if you love oinking out on crescent rolls when Thanksgiving rolls around. Yeah, me too.
Fortunately for our arteries, it’s summer. Huge meals and heavy ingredients are too much trouble for hot-weather digestion, so light grazing becomes the norm.
You can still enjoy the taste of those buttery crescent rolls without the bother (and bloat) of a full meal. With the help of a rolling pin and some creative assembly, you can make an appetizer that fits all four food groups. Throw in a pitcher of lemonade and some music, and you’ve got a party!
In addition to being a simple snack, this recipe offers the bonus of minimal oven use, so your stove won’t be fighting with your air conditioner.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and dig out a couple of cookie sheets. Set up your stand mixer with a small bowl.
Toss in an 8-ounce block of cream cheese and about 1 ounce of crumbled blue cheese. If you’re really crazy about strong cheeses, you can add a little more.
Whirl these together on medium speed until they’re well-blended. Now get an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Drain off most of the juice; it’s OK if the pineapple isn’t perfectly “dry.” Add the pineapple to the cheese mix.
If you prefer to avoid meat, feel free to skip this next step. Dice up about 4 slices of deli ham, the kind that’s sliced thin but not paper-thin, and add it to the rest of the ingredients. Whirl everything together on medium for a minute or so. It won’t be smooth, but it should look pretty evenly blended.
Now for the creative part! You’ll need three or four cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough. Open one and unroll the dough. Separate it into two halves, but don’t split it up into triangles. Instead, place each half between sheets of waxed paper and roll them out until they’re approximately 10 inches square. Give yourself a little leeway; they won’t be perfect. Cut each large square into nine smaller squares.
Drop your cheese mixture onto the squares by scant teaspoons. You can adjust the amount according to the size of the dough squares. Fold the opposite corners together, first in one direction, and then the other. Pinch the corners to seal them, and place each little packet onto your cookie sheet. You should be able to fit 18 appetizers onto one sheet.
Bake them for around 10-12 minutes, or until the pieces are a nice golden brown. They should be served hot, but you’ll probably want to let them sit on a cooling rack for a minute or two. Nobody likes losing a lip to molten cheese.
Play around with this recipe and find your favorite combination. Try chicken and apple, or turkey and pear. Maybe a nice vegetable medley is your style. Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate chips and diced dried apricots. Whatever you choose, have fun with it.
— Audrey Lintner can be reached at email@example.com.