New Year’s Snacking – Hotlanta Style

It’s time for New Year’s!  The last few years, I’ve been wrapped into the Spanish scene – where you go to a house party until 10 in the morning and eat your twelve grapes as the clock chimes twelve times for midnight.  This year I’ll be calming it down back in the Pacific Northwest, and we will probably all go to bed at one.  I’m not upset by that prospect.   In keeping with the calmer party, I will be bringing along some snacks with my bottle of prosecco, so we can all feel fancy.

I made these for Christmas out of the cookbook I bought while visiting my friend Caroline down in Atlanta in October: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.   I was a little worried about getting it home in my suitcase as it’s a doozy of a book, but it has been entirely worth it.  Justifying an impulse buy is quite priceless.

Tiny little turnovers of cheddar and pepper jelly, these are crunchy and flaky and delicious and you should totally make them.  They take a little time to put together, which I don’t usually approve of, but these are worth the effort.  I was reminded of my college roommate and her love of pepper jelly from Pike Place – we’d go get some and sit in our dorm looking out the balcony while smearing cream cheese on Ritz and dollops of sweet and spicy red pepper jelly on top.  These are a little more complex and elegant, but you have to start loving pepper jelly somewhere.

I have no more reminiscing or fun things to say about the ingredients – I’m kind of discombobulated right now because I finally landed a job in Seattle, but only on a temp to permanent basis.  So just a few hours ago I loaded up my clothes and toothbrush and moved in temporarily with my brother up north.  My life isn’t looking anything like I had planned, but I’m excited to start work and leery of aggravating my brother and sister-in-law.  Cross your fingers and eat some turnovers, because they help everyone feel more settled and cheery.

pepper jelly turnovers-7

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Side note – all the ingredients for this batch were leftovers from Christmas items. Double win? Ham hock to make soup with soon!

Hot Pepper Jelly Turnovers

Makes 2-3 dozen turnovers.

5 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 in cubes

1 c flour

1/2 c butter (1 stick), chilled, cut into 1/2 in cubes

3-4 Tbsp cold water

1/2 c red pepper jelly

2 Tbsp of finely chopped ham or turkey (optional)

pepper jelly turnovers-2

In a food processor with the metal cutting blade attached, pulse the cheese and flour together just until the cheese is the size of split peas.

pepper jelly turnovers-3

Add the butter and pulse again until it the mixture is the size of whole peas.  Add the ice water and process briefly until the dough just starts to come together. Be careful not to over-water.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Turn the dough out onto a board and shape it into a flat round.  Don’t over knead – just enough to make it cohesive. Roll it out to 1/8 in thick and cut it into rounds with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.

pepper jelly turnovers-4

Place approximately 1/3 tsp pepper jelly and 1/4 tsp ham in the center of each round and fold over. Don’t be tempted to add more than this amount of filling or it will all run out and you will very quickly get angry at the turnovers.

pepper jelly turnovers-5

Crimp the edges well with a fork to seal or the jelly will run out. I sealed them with my fingers and then crimped them with a fork to be sure.

pepper jelly turnovers-6

Bake 10 to 15 minutes.  The turnovers can be frozen before or after baking.  Defrost and bake or reheat before serving. For reheating, bake for 5 minutes at 375 to get them all crisped up again.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!


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