Broccoli Cheddar Bites

I was struggling to find a light, delicious appetizer for my dinner of Vegetable Root Chicken Pot Pie, and again being St. Patty’s, I was playing around in the green family. I had Puff Pastry, Broccoli, and green onions.Then it hit me, Gourmet Broccoli Cheddar Bites?! Yes!

They had everything I was seeking;  light and flaky, flavorful and green! I knew I was onto something so I started working away to create my take on the all American finger food.

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So, what you will need…

  • 1/4 C. broccoli finely chopped
  • 1/8 C. finely chopped green onion
  • 1/8 C. minced shallot
  • 1/8 C. finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • puff pastry (enough for 12  1 1/4×1 1/4 inch squares)

Here was my process…

First I set the Oven to 350 degrees. Then I greased a muffin pan with olive oil and set aside.

I took my puff pastry, rolled it out so it was about 1/4 inch thick and then cute my 1 1/4x 1 1/4 inch squares and placed each square in a muffin hole in the pan.

I sauteed the broccoli, green onion, shallot, sweet onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp Olive oil until onions were translucent. I added salt and pepper until I was satisfied with the flavor and then poured the mixture into a bowl with the shreded cheese. I mixed all ingredients together.

Next I spooned mixture into center of puff pastry in muffin pans.

I baked at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, or until puff pastry was puffed and golden.

They were delicious and kind of fun to make!

Happy Baking!

Hard Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

This… Has… Been… A… Challenge!!!!

Not only are there few recipes available to reference, there are fewer ways to fill the pretzels! Again, I was intimidated by this crazy task, and not having any idea where to start, I sort of just dove right in. This was a special request from my cousin, and with his big blue eyes, I couldn’t refuse the challenge.

Here was my process…

So, I started with my dough. I took 1 3/4 cups water (110 degrees), mixed 1 tablespoon of white sugar and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt until dissolved. Then I sprinkled one package of active dry yeast on top and waited for about 5 minutes until a foam started to form on top.

Then I added 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 1/2 cups of unbleached whole wheat flour to the water and yeast mixture.

I mixed it until everything was well incorporated, then I kneaded the thick dough by hand until it was smooth and pulled away from the sided of the bowl. I had a well greased bowl set aside to place the dough in once the kneading process was complete. Then I covered the dough with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm area for 55 minutes. The dough should double in size, mine did!

While you are waiting for your dough to rise you can make the peanut butter filling! Take about  1 1/2 cup of peanut butter and mix it with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt. If you don’t have a piping bag, take a large ziplock bag and put the peanut butter mixture into it. Cut one of the bottom corners, just a small hole, and you can use that to pipe out the filling.

Set out two baking sheets, line with parchment paper and grease them with oil. I prefer veggie oil.

Take the double pretzel dough and turn it onto a greased surface. Cut into four equal pieces and put the three you aren’t working with under a damp cloth.  Roll the dough out in 3 to 4 strips and then flatten each one. Should be about 2 inches long and maybe 1/8 of an inch thick. Eyeballing it works for me.

Take one strip and cut sections about 1 inch wide. Each section should be roughly 1 inch wide and 2 inches long, but you can determine the size you prefer. Pipe a fair amount of peanut butter filling into center of each section. Fold dough over to make a square, and make sure to seal the edges with your fingers so that the filling doesn’t melt out! Repeat until everything is used up.

Now take a deep pan or a pot and bring some water to boil. It only needs to be deep enough to submerge the pretzel pieces. Take your bites and put them in the boiling water for about 15 seconds or until they float. Turn them out onto greased baking sheets.

Take an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water and whisk. Then brush the pretzel bites with it and sprinkle coarse salt on top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes on 350 degrees.

Shazam! Delicious, entertaining, snack time fun!

This is a good 3 hour project, so don’t attempt if you are easily distracted! It is a fun process and even more fun with a group of people.

So, you will need…

  • 1 3/4 cups warm (110 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  •  4 1/2 cups of flour ( I used 2 cups all-purpose and 2 1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat)
  • 1 large whole egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • Water
  • Pretzel salt

Happy Baking!