Sweet and Savory Valentine Bites
Whether you’re hosting a festive Valentine’s Day party, or entertaining just for two, these recipes give you some sweet and savory choices that will set the mood for romance.
Scrumptious bites start with simple, flavorful ingredients – golden Calimyrna and dark purple Mission figs from California and Jarlsberg cheese.
Sweet, mouthwatering figs are not only packed with great taste, they’re full of fiber and essential nutrients, making them as good for you as they are good to eat.
The versatile taste and texture of Jarlsberg cheese is ideal for these appetizers. Jarlsberg’s mild, nutty-sweet flavor and buttery creaminess makes it a perfect partner to figs and, along with its excellent melting properties, adaptable to many sweet or savory dishes.
You can combine both ingredients in one easy sure-to-please appetizer: Make a slit in a fig and stuff with a piece of Jarlsberg. Wrap with partially-cooked bacon (it should be a bit limp) and heat at 400°F just until bacon is crispy and cheese begins to melt.
See more of my sweet and savory Valentine’s Day recipes here: /tag/valentines-day/
Savory Jarlsberg Thumbprints with Fig-Pepper Jelly
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Jarlsberg cheese
- 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, toasted pecans or unblanched almonds
- 3/4 cup finely chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs
- 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (red or green)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place butter in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg yolks. On low speed, gradually beat in flour. Stir in Jarlsberg, Parmesan and nuts.
- Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Wrap 3 in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill. On work surface, form remaining portion of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls.
- Place balls, 1 1/2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheet. With thumb or back of wooden spoon, make 1/2-inch indentation in center of each cookie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. If needed, press back of teaspoon into cookies to re-form indentations. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.
- Repeat shaping and baking with remaining dough.
- To serve, in small bowl, stir together figs and jelly. Fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon fig-pepper jelly.
Makes 40 cookies
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Make ahead note: Dough can be prepared 1 to 2 days ahead. Form dough into 1 1/2-inch cylinder, wrap airtight and chill or freeze for longer storage. Baked cookies can be stored unfilled, in airtight container for 2 days or frozen. To re-crisp, place on baking sheet in 350°F oven for 2 to 4 minutes.Cool. Fill with fig-pepper jelly as directed.