Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hot Pepper Jelly Cheese Puffs @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE:  I have a new obsession in Key West--this is hot pepper jelly made by the Pickle Baron, a local company here on the island. They also make bacon jam (bacon jam!!), and all kinds of pickles.
one of the Pickle Barons

John and I put the jelly on our sandwiches all week--it has just the right smoky heat to raise cold cuts to the next level. Then I remembered of my favorite hors d'oeuvre--a recipe for hot pepper jelly cheese puffs that I got years ago from my good friend Cathy Crook. 

These puffs are positively decadent and delicious. There's one drawback: They look like little thumbprint jam cookies so it takes a while for the party guests to catch on that you're talking cheese, not sugar. Once a few people taste them, however, word spreads like wildfire and the plate will be snatched clean. So gobble a couple before you put them out.



1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup flour
Hot pepper jelly

Mix the first 3 ingredients until they hold together in a ball--either by hand or using food processor. Wrap in parchment paper or Saran wrap and chill 1/2 hour. 

Roll into small balls (no bigger than an inch thick.) Bake at 400 degrees for five minutes. Remove them from the oven and make depressions in the top of the puffs with the back of a spoon.

Fill with Pickle Baron's Habanero hot pepper jelly (or other jelly, or mild pepper jelly if you can't take the heat.) 

Return puffs to the oven and bake until golden. (5-7 more minutes.) 

 And watch them disappear off the plate!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries:


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  1. I've made these. They are awesome. I use my homemade blackberry pepper jelly. It is not as jelled as store bought so I put the jelly in at the end.

  2. Those look really amazing. We have jalapeno jelly here in Texas and it's been a while since I bought some. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Oh My!!!!! These look fabulous! I have some homemade jalapeno jelly in the pantry and I always have cheese in the frig - ready to make these - pronto.

    1. Just be careful or you'll eat the entire recipe in one sitting:)

  4. Where else but Key West would you find the Pickle Baron?
    These sound irresistible

  5. I think I would really like to visit the Pickle Baron. And these look quite tasty!

  6. I didn't think I would like hot pepper jelly until a friend gifted me a jar of homemade, and suggested I try it with apple slices and cream cheese. It was delicious and these cheese puffs look just as tasty. Thanks for the recipe and Happy New Year!

    ~ Cleo

  7. Most of the time us mystery writers live so far apart we only meet up at conferences, but for a couple of months a year, Lucy and I live a mile or so apart and I got to eat these in person. Absolutely delicious!

  8. These look really good something new to try. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I love love love hot pepper jelly, but not as much as I love cheese. Just died and went to puff heaven!

    Thanks, Roberta. Can't wait to try,



  10. I love these, Lucy! They're beautiful and sound delish!!!

  11. Oh boy, these look luscious. Cheese is my favorite food group, so I have got to try these!

  12. These look so awesome and easy! Always looking for ideas for our game day get togethers... Brew Crew and Go Pack!!

  13. Should they be eaten warm? Are they good to make ahead of time to take to a party?