Spicy with cayenne and mustard, all tender melt-in-the-mouth with butter and cheese, and crunchy from the cornmeal, here is New Year’s Eve’s appetizer.
I’ll be cozy at home, munching these addictive savory bites and sipping a glass of champagne. I raise a toast to cooks, bakers, servers and restaurant workers everywhere, but it won’t be me in the bakery helping prep hundreds of yummy desserts. This will be my first New Year’s Eve in a long time celebrating with Robbie.
Cheers! I already have the rolled logs in my freezer waiting to be sliced, baked and noshed.
May you enjoy a dreamt-about evening of ringing in the new, a 2014 filled with joy, love and peace.
Cornmeal Cheddar Cheese Coins
1 ¼ cups (6 ounces) all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ teaspoon Real Salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces cold butter, cut in ½-inch dice
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup cold beer, white wine or water
Stir the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, mustard and cayenne together in a medium bowl. With a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the butter, until the pieces are the size of blueberries. Pour the cold liquid over the flour, stirring with a fork until the mixture holds together.
(Alternatively, place all of the dry ingredients in a food processor work bowl. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces are the size of blueberries. Pour the liquid into the food processor all at once. Pulse until the dough forms a ball, but do not over-process.)
Whichever method you choose, divide in three equal portions.
On a piece of parchment or waxed paper, form each portion of dough into a log, 12 inches long, about 1 1/4-inch round. Wrap the parchment around the dough and use it to round out the log. Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 45 minutes, until firm enough to slice.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Slice about 1/8-inch thick and arrange on baking sheets 1/2 inch apart.
Bake 10 minutes, until the coins are barely golden around the edges.
Makes about 150 coins, or about 50 coins per log.