No dessert this week. Why you ask? Why would I deprive you of Holiday-inspired sweetness? Because I went to a Christmas party last night and wanted to bring a more savory item. I'm lazy so I wrapped having to bring some with a blog post- killed 2 birds with one stone. Plus, you're going to get Christmas-dessert overload next week...just you wait :)
So, for the party, I found these little gems on (guess...) Betty Crocker.com. I had every intention of making these yummy looking Veggie and Cheese Pastry Puffs, but I didn't have a mini-muffin pan and didn't feel like buying one (basically because I'm getting one for Christmas- Thanks Mom!)
I made two types of these bites: a Hot Italian Sausage and Cheddar version and a Spinach and Mozzarella version. Originals can be found here...and here. The links contain great info on making ahead and freezing. I didn't try any of that, so I can't speak to it, but you can check it out there.
How Long Is This Gonna Take:
If you're making both at the same time like I did, about 1.5 hours due to all the baking time. If you're just making one, halve that to 45 minutes.
What You'll Need:For the Sausage-Cheddar Bites:3 cups Bisquick mix
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed or buy bulk (my store only had links...)
4 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk (I ended up added about 2 tbsp extra due to dryness)
1 tsp dried rosemary (original called for only 1/5 tsp, but I felt they lacked seasoning)
1 tsp dried parsley (ditto above)
Chili sauce for dipping (look for it by the ketchup)
For the Spinach-Mozzarella Bites:
1 box (9oz) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed squeezed to drain (make sure its dry- too much liquid and they'll fall apart)
1.5 cups Bisquick mix
3 cups shredded mozzarella
3 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 tsp garlic salt
Pasta sauce for dipping
What To Do:
1. For the sausage bites, heat oven to 350F. For the spinach bites, preheat to 400F.
2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients minus dipping sauces. (Obviously, if you're making both kinds of bites, use 2 large bowls and keep everything separate :-P) Get your hands in there and get dirty. With the sausage version, you'll almost have to knead the mixture to break up the sausage and work it in evenly. With the sausage, I also had to add about 2 extra tbsp of milk because it was a little too dry. Spinach-Mozzarella Bite mixtures is pictured here.
3. Roll into 1-inch balls and placed on a cooking spray covered cookie sheet. Bake sausage-cheddar bites for 20 minutes. The spinach-mozzarella need to only cook for about 15 (or until browned)
4. Serve with warm dipping sauces.
Note: Great treat and perfect for Christmas parties. My one complaint is you NEED to eat them hot- no bueno once they cool down. So therefore they don't travel too well unless your host is cool with you using their oven to warm them when you get there. However, if you're gathering at your place, go for it. They're quite tasty. The spinach ones were my favorite- dipped in some classic pasta sauce and they're fantastic. However, the sausage ones were good too- the chili sauce totally made them.