Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Thanksgiving Appetizer Surprise....MrMartha's Cheese Turkeys!

MrMartha was trying to come up with a fantastic and unexpected little appetizer tidbit to take along to a Thanksgiving gathering. Being that MrMartha was not cooking and serving the full dinner, it seemed appropriate to lavish a little attention on the process, and come up with something fun. In 60s cocktail speak, what would be called a "clever hors' d oeuvre" -- which one would nibble with a "smart cocktail".

These little gems have a very retro feel to one sense they seem to have stepped out of Better Homes and Gardens circa 1967, but at the same time, they are guaranteed to be unexpected and totally charming.

The recipe is simple and tasty, the wafers can be baked more simply as rounds -- but forming the little turkeys, and seeing the looks on peoples faces as they examine them, is more than worth the little bit of extra work in preparation.

Read more for the recipe, and to see just how simple the process really is.

Cheese Wafer Turkeys

3/4 cup Butter
1-2 cups Grated Cheese (see note)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Dry Mustard (prepared dijon or brown mustard can be substituted)
1 tsp Salt
Dashes of Tabasco or Hot Sauce

Note about Cheese. Traditionally these are made with sharp cheddar cheese, you can get a different result by using a swiss or a pepper cheese, or Parmesan always works too.
Grate the cheese a couple hours ahead, spread on a sheet and leave to air dry for a few hours.
Use the lesser cheese amount for a firmer "shortbread" cracker.
Use more cheese to get a softer texture.

In a food processor, place the flour and half the cheese, process in small short bursts, until cheese is very finely chopped. Add the rest of the cheese and continue to process until incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the butter, and process till well combined.

For Wafers, form into logs with half dollar width, wrap in waxed paper and chill or freeze-- until slicing before baking.

For Turkeys, place dough into cookie press with "camel" disc, and make 2 dozen camel forms. Switch to "wreath" disc, and press out a dozen wreath forms. CAREFULLY lift up one half of each wreath form, and place against camel to form tail feathers.

Sprinkle before baking with grated Parmesan Cheese, Kosher Salt, cracked pepper, finely crushed parsley, or herbs. Use just one, or a combination.

Bake on a very VERY lightly greased baking sheet at 375 degrees, until lightly browned -- may be baked longer, until darker brown and crispy, if that is what you prefer.