Friday, February 4, 2011

Blue Cheese Bounties & Poppers

I was trying out a new party popper recipe and had a lot of blue cheese filling left. I remembered a blue cheese cracker recipe I had seen in my book Heirloom Cooking by the Brass Sisters. I decided to use the cracker recipe as a tart base for the filling. Wow! Very blue cheesy, hence the name - Blue Cheese Bounties. The cracker recipe needs to chill before forming. The filling was a take-off on Aarti Sequeira's Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop Em's

My version of the filling includes the addition of creamy Maytag blue cheese, walnuts, nutmeg and lime juice.

I found a link to Nick's Savory Blue Cheese Cracker with Walnuts:

This will make about 24 tarts and 8 poppers, or about 40 Poppers.


Tart shells:

1 recipe Nick's Savory Blue Cheese Crackers minus the walnuts. Again, I used Maytag blue cheese.


8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 ounces Maytag Blue Cheese
1 medium Braeburn apple, cored and minced
3 medium scallions, minced
4 Tablespoons walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely ground Tellicherry black pepper
A very small grating of fresh nutmeg
24 walnut or pecan halves

(If making all poppers you will need 20 pepper and 20 slices of bacon.)

4 slices Wright's Applewood Smoked Bacon, sliced in half
4 Jalapeno peppers/baby sweet peppers, cut in half lengthwise and veins and seeds removed
Mix the cracker recipe, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Blend cream cheese in food processor until smooth, crumble the blue cheese into the processor and mix until no large chunks remain. Now scrape this amalgamation into a medium bowl and blend in your remaining ingredients. (If you chopped your apple up ahead of time mix the lime juice into it to prevent browning.)

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Spray two 12 cup tart pans with baking spray.

Using a 1" cookie/candy measure press full of filling, evenly. Turn the filling into the mini tart pans and press into a tart form. (I used a Pampered Chef press dipped in flour).

Carefully spoon 1 1/2 Tbsp of the filling into the center of each tart shell. Top each with a nut half, gently pressing it into the filling, this will help to distribute the filling, as well as help keep the nut from falling off.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden.


Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Press filling into each pepper half up to the rim. Gently stretch a piece of bacon. Then, beginning at the tops of the pepper, just under the stem wrap the bacon around the popper spirally to cover the filling. Secure the bacon with a toothpick or small wooden skewer.

Place on the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the bacon is crispy. Let set for 5 minutes. Using tongs, gently lift each popper off the pan and blot it on a paper towel to remove some of the extra fat. Place on a serving tray and enjoy!