Last night was my annual Christmas party that I host each and every December. I look forward to this party as it starts my holiday season off with much happiness and good cheer.
I love to cook a nice dinner for my friends, along with having an array of appetizers and sweet treats. Sometimes, I order Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes as my dessert, but last night some of my friends offered to bring treats ranging from brownies (thank you, Pam!), snickerdoodle cookies (thank you, Sandy – and thank you, also, for the chicken sausages … yum!), lemon bars (thank you, Jen!), and array of chocolates and caramels – so yummy! My friend, Marie, brought a wonderful salad (thank you, Marie!) and my friend, JoAnne brought an amazing vegetable platter with asparagus, mushrooms, etc. It was divine (thank you, JoAnne!). My friend, Ethel, brought two wonderful puff pastry shell appetizers … one was stuffed with cheese and a little tiny meatball and the other had caramelized onion jam and cheese, OMG – yum (thank you, Ethel!)
One of the appetizers I make each year is my olive balls. My friend and neighbor, Lauren, loves my olive balls. The first time I made them is when I hosted our Neighborhood Book Club for the first time … this was also our inaugural meeting – and also the very first time some of us met. I remember walking through Trader Joe’s a few days before that first meeting deciding on what I’d make to serve my friends and new friends. I saw puff pastry in the freezer aisle and spotted stuffed olives in the olive aisle. I figured I’d buy them both and come up with a plan …. that turned out to be one of the best plans ever! Not only does Lauren love the olive balls, but my daughter, Kylie does as well. She looks forward to the leftover olive balls each time I make them.
To make the olive balls, I thawed my puff pastry, per the package directions. Once the puff pastry was thawed enough that I could unfold it without it breaking (about 40 minutes), I drained my jar of olives. The olives I chose to use for yesterday were the blue cheese stuffed olives. I cut my puff pastry into squares (about 3 inches each) and place an olive in the middle of each square. I then wrap the pastry around the olive and roll it in my hands to form a ball. I then place them on baking sheets (I usually need two) that I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once the olives are on my baking sheet, I brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each one. After that, I sprinkle fresh minced rosemary and grated parmesan on each olive ball. I then bake them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned.
Note: Feel free to use garlic stuffed olives if you’d like or any other type of stuffed olive that appeals to you. If I use the garlic stuffed olives, I add crumbled blue cheese to the “package”. I place a little on top of the olive before rolling it together into a ball.
Once again, my olive balls did not disappoint. I’m sure they will make an appearance at my next gathering … perhaps the Ugly Christmas Party I’m hosting on December 22nd!
- 1 package puff pastry, thawed
- 1 jar stuffed olives
- 5 sprigs rosemary, minced
- parmesan cheese, grated
- sea salt, a pinch per olive ball
- olive oil, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Thaw puff pastry per package directions.
- Drain olives.
- Cut puff pastry like you would cut a pan of brownies (make them about 2-1/2 – 3 inches square).
- Place olive in the middle of each square and fold pastry around olive. Roll in your hands until the pastry looks like a small ball.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Sprinkle each olive ball with rosemary and parmesan.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until browned nicely.
Until next time, Kris