Makes 36 pieces
This recipe is from Robin Phillips of Sonora, as published in "America's Best Lost Recipes" (America's Test Kitchen, $29.95). Says Phillips: "They are very unusual and I've never seen anything like them. You can't eat just one."
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
¼ teaspoon paprika
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 (5.75-ounce) jars small Spanish olives, drained
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a wooden spoon, stir the cheese, butter and paprika in a medium bowl until well blended. Add the flour and mix in with your hands until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Measure out a level teaspoon of dough and pat into a 1½-inch circle. Following the photos, place an olive in the center of the circle and bring the edges of the dough together to cover the olive. Roll the ball between your hands until smooth and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and olives. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
Bake until the exterior of the olive balls turns light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.