As we bid farewell to Thanksgiving, we welcome with open arms the "silly season." You know, a few weeks of mad shopping, parties and revelry followed by Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Eve. It's the party season at full tilt and it's fun as long as you're organized.
Taking that first step to managing all the silliness is having an hors d'oeuvre in the freezer that's ready to go. We're not talking pigs-in-a-blanket from Costco. Don't waste your freezer space unless it's catering-quality homemade yet easy, unfussy and tasty. Parmesan puffs are just the ticket.
It's amazing what a few well chosen ingredients can do: Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, a small onion and thin sandwich bread. These four flavors create an addicting little bite. But, few ingredients come at a price so do pay attention to freshness. A firm onion with a taut outer shell, freshly grated Parmesan if possible, and mayonnaise that hasn’t been in the fridge forever. Freshness is an easy way to bring out every ounce of flavor, which is great advice in any season.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Makes: 4-6 dozen
1 loaf (1 lb.) Pepperidge Farm thin white bread
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a small 2-3-inch cookie cutter (circle, star, heart) cut 3 or 4 shapes from each piece of bread. Place on a baking sheet and lightly toast, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl combine Parmesan, mayonnaise and onion. Spread 1/2-1 teaspoon of the mixture on the toast covering the entire surface. The hors d'oeuvres can be frozen at this point by placing flat in zip-top bags.
Bake 8-10 minutes, 12 if frozen until brown and bubbly.