Monday, November 5, 2012

#242 Cheesy Red Pepper Jelly Thumbprint Bites and a Second Birthday!!

It's almost the Holidays and I'm not yet ready to think about all the goodies I'd like to bake! Time flies faster than wind and good God-- it's almost Thanksgiving already!

BTW,  Malli's M&Ms has victoriously reached the heights of its second anniversary last month!! What a productive year this has been!! Instead of counting candles or years I'm counting my blessings for achieving another big milestone. I've enjoyed sharing my kitchen experiences and paving my way into your kitchens!  Thank you for letting me in:)

Anyway, a few weeks back we ventured out of DC to the hills of the Shenandoah Valley and a bit further to Afton, VA for a wedding. A wedding that was memorable for us since our younger daughter V's best friend was married at the Veritas Winery and Plantation in a beautiful Country Manor. Although it was pouring 'cats and dogs' on our road trip over the winding roads and high elevation we went.
It was as if the rains stopped and the heavens opened up for the bride and groom just as the ceremony began like someone from above showered them with blessings. The soft rays of sunshine peeked out between the clouds to make a warm and cosy setting while the Rabi and priest blessed the couple.

Since V was the Maid of Honor we were excited for her and it was worth spending a weekend enjoying the food and festivities at the winery too.

On our return trip, we came across a little country store off the main road. I had the irresistable urge to go in and explore. After some convincing and persuasion from me, my husband (R) had to stop and park at the side of the road. R knew that it was crucial and nothing could stop me from grabbing a bagful of fresh prepared foods from the store. I was not disappointed because it was packed with fresh home-made jams, jellies, relishes and absolutely fine homemade candy-my favorite was a sesame bark. I began gathering like a kid in a candy store and among other things I picked up, there was a red pepper jam- tart, hot and sweet. My first thought was "the tartness of the jam  being amplified by the sweet finish it would perhaps stand out blended into a sauce or marinade on fish or chicken".

A taste of it and I was sure you could slather anything with a dab of this red pepper jam and it would be delicious! It was addictive and many sauces later there was still more leftover jam. On a whimsical impulse I decided bake something out of the ordinary a twisted version of a cookie.....a little savory, a little spicy cookie or should I say a tart thumbprint cracker?

2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons chilled butter, chopped
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly

1.Blend cheese, flour, and butter in a food processor until dough is a coarse-meal texture and forms into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3.Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven; press thumb into top of each ball, creating an indentation. Spoon about 1 teaspoon pepper jelly into indentation. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 5 minutes.


  1. sweet and savory- delicious and beautiful! i love them!

  2. Happy second blog anniversary. The pepper jelly reminds me of my southern roots and I love the idea of using it with cheese - a savory sweet combination I would enjoy very much.


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