“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Today, adjunct instructor Gail Sokol bakes Spiced Cheese Twists, terrific snacks for cold days.
Forget “cheese that goes crunch.” Gail Sokol prefers “cheese that goes twist.”
The Slingerlands baker uses pastry sheets and bunches of spices for her cheesy snack.
“I like smoked paprika,” she said. “I use Parmesan cheese, I use ground coriander, cumin, a little salt and a little bit of cayenne pepper to give it a little heat.”
The twists also get 10 minutes in the oven. While the holidays are over, Sokol thinks people will like doing the twists during winter cocktail parties.
“So many appetizers are flat,” she said. “These are vertical. I like to serve them in a tall glass or in a pitcher, just to give them a little height. It adds height on the cocktail table, which makes it more festive.”
Spiced Cheese Twists
2⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 puff pastry sheet (from one package of puff pastry sheets)
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine cheese, spices and salt in a bowl.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry sheet to a 16-by-10-inch rectangle.
Using a pastry brush, brush the pastry sheet with egg wash. Using a pizza wheel, cut the sheet in half crosswise, forming two rectangles.
Sprinkle the cheese and spice mixture over one of the rectangles. Top the cheese with the other pastry rectangle, egg wash side down.
Using a rolling pin, roll over the pastry to make sure the two pastry halves adhere.
Using a pizza wheel, cut the pastry crosswise into 1⁄4 inch-side strips.
Lightly egg wash over the top of the cut pastry.
Twist each strip repeatedly to form twists and place on two sheet pans covered with parchment paper.
Bake cheese twists for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are browned and puffed.
Cool and serve.