Olive Cheese Balls are a delicious, impressive and crowd-pleasing appetizer. Tangy pimiento-stuffed green olives are baked in a cheesy, flaky crust and served hot. The best part? These little bites of heaven can be prepared up to 1 month ahead, frozen and then heated just before serving.
- Around 3 dozen small (Manzanilla) pimiento-stuffed green olives (7 ounce bottle, with leftovers)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 4 to 5 shakes cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (around 1 cup packed)
- Drain liquid from olives and place on paper towel to dry.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, paprika, salt and cayenne. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the cheese until well blended. Blend in the flour mixture just until combined. Mix in additional flour as needed, to form a soft dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pinch off a piece of dough around the size of a walnut half; flatten into a thin, oval shape and wrap around an olive, enclosing it completely. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and olives. Refrigerate olives for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place refrigerated cheese olives on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until dough is set and they are lightly browned. Cool for a few minutes, then serve.
Make ahead: cheese olives can be prepared but not baked and frozen on a single cookie sheet (don’t use parchment paper). When frozen, move to a zip top baggie and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw on paper towel (to absorb moisture) for around 40 to 50 minutes, then bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet as above.
Keywords: olives, cheese, one-bite appetizer