Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pimiento Cheese on Spoon Crackers

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Twice, in as many weeks, people have inquired about a spoon cookie cutter.  An odd request, and then both customers proceeded to tell about an appetizer from Southern Living.  Pimiento Cheese on a cracker spoon.  Of course I was intrigued.  How fun, savory cookies with cheese instead of sweet with icing!

So I Googled and found this link for the picture and recipes.  I see no reason to follow a recipe for Pimiento Cheese, after 20+ years in the South, you just gotta wing it!   So I did my own version, and I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results!  They are a little silly.  But everyone loved them!

The cookie cutters were found at Fancy Flours, and I don't think this is the last time I make something savory with them.

The spoons are made simply by cutting them out of pie dough.  Of course I cheated and bought the kind already rolled out in a box!  The did get a little misshapen when they baked, but as far as quick, this was great.   I also happened to have some puff pastry, however, they didn't work well.  They puffed (as the name implies), and were deemed a failure.  

Then came the Pimiento Cheese.  I rarely make the same Pimiento Cheese twice.  I am forever tossing things in it.  But here's my basic recipe.

 Susie's Pimiento Cheese

3 pounds sharp cheddar
1 block cream cheese
1 large jar pimientos
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1/2 teaspoon Black and Red Pepper by Penzeys
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

You can start with shredded cheese, I did for this batch.  But ideally I buy a block and run it through the meat grinder.  The grinder gives it a little chunkier texture.  So with the shredded, basically add all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix thoroughly.  It is best made a day or so ahead, then taste and see if it needs a little more zest.

I took half the batch and added a jalepeno/feta sauce I buy at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant.  It was hot, but the kind of hot that you can't stop eating!  You can also add pickled jalepenos, chopped onions even pickle relish.  Sometimes I add a white cheddar too.  But we like it basic and zesty.  Also the cream cheese will get me in trouble with my Southern friends, but I prefer it to make it smooth, and cream cheese is tastier than adding more mayo.  Experiment and see what you like!  What are you waiting for?!

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