Recipe: Gouda Puff Pastry Bites with Black Currant Preserves

Looking for the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer for your festive gathering? These cheesy, easy puff pastry appetizers are guaranteed to satisfy everyone from your picky Aunt Karen to your perpetually hungry teenage nephew.

These tasty treats are like bite sized versions of brie baked 'en croûte'—which is the French term for anything baked in pastry. Here, the delicious handheld parcels are made from store bought puff pastry and filled with savory Gouda cheese. Topped off with a dollop of black currant preserves for the perfect marriage of tart and sweet.

We recommend Youngsters Double Cream Gouda, a deliciously cream version with 60% milk fat which helps it to melt beautifully.

Helpful baker's tip! Make and bake these babies ahead of time. Baked, cooled bites can be frozen in an airtight container up to 1 month. Reheat from frozen in a 425°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

Step 1) 

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to an approximately 11-by-16-inch rectangle. Trim edges straight to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. With the tines of a fork, prick pastry all over at 1/2-inch intervals. Cut into twenty-four 2 1/2-inch squares (a 4-by-6 grid).

Step 2)

Press each square into the cup of a mini muffin tin. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon Dijon into bottom of each pastry shell. Refrigerate until pastry is firm, at least 15 minutes.

Step 3) 

Prepare gouda cheese. Remove rind and cut into 24 approximately 3/4-inch cubes.

Step 4)

Bake until pastry cups are puffed, golden along edges, and beginning to set, about 15 minutes. Working quickly, remove from oven and press a cube of cheese into center of each pastry with the handle of a wooden spoon. (Cheese should depress pastry to reach bottom of cup.)

Step 5)

Continue baking until pastry is golden brown and cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool in tins a few minutes. Transfer to a serving tray, top with black currant preserves. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme if desired. Serve warm.