Go into any furniture shop and artfully placed amongst the tables, dressers, and credenzas, you’ll find tchotchkes (pronounced: choch’-keys). You’re probably not even consciously aware of them – they’re the bits and bobs that decorate a room, turning a house into a home. A crystal bowl filled with colorful balls. A hand-painted glass plate. A ceramic vase.
Why am I talking furniture in a vegetarian cooking blog? Because I see this week’s topic, Macadamia Cheese Biscuits, as the tchotchkes of the food world. They’re not the main event, but they add to the overall effect of the party.
What I love about these biscuits is that you can nibble at them discreetly as you converse with friends and colleagues. They’re not messy, so you won’t be embarrassed when taking a bite and the remainder somehow ends up on the front of your outfit, or worse – the host’s freshly cleaned carpet. Rather than enjoying yourself, your evening suddenly becomes about stain removal.
While they’re not exactly low in calories (I figure each one is about 58 calories), if you nurse at a Macadamia Cheese Biscuit in one hand and a drink in the other, this can keep you occupied enough so you don’t reach for the mini-quiches and bacon wrapped hot dogs.
Preparing the biscuit dough is a snap. Then roll into a log and refrigerate until it’s time to bake. Yay! I love party foods that are done ahead of time. I don’t know about you, but I turn into crazy-woman about 2 hours before guests arrive. The dough can even be frozen, so keep one on hand for drop-in guests.
MACADAMIA CHEESE BISCUITS – makes about 36 biscuits
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter
- 8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and lightly toasted
In a food processor pulse flour, salt, and butter several times to break up butter. Add in cheese, egg, and nuts. Whirl until the dough forms a large ball.
With your hands roll the dough ball into a long log, 1½” in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400º degrees Fahrenheit. Slice log into ¼” discs and place on greased or non-stick cookie sheet. They don’t spread, so you can place them fairly close together. Bake about 14 minutes – until lightly brown. Let set on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to serving plate or wire rack.