Smoky Chipotle Cheddar Twists (aka, The Easiest Appetizer for Thanksgiving!)
These smoky cheddar twists are the easiest snack to make this week!
Seriously, they only have four ingredients. Four! They come together in no time at all. They taste amazing, can be served alone or in conjunction with a little cheese plate or something. The twists are light enough to be a snack before dinner without ruining your appetizer, which is obviously the best thing ever.
I’m always on the fence about serving an appetizer before Thanksgiving dinner. Many years, I don’t do it at all. Some years, I’ve done soup shooters. Others, I’ve done this pomegranate cheese ball. Last year, I did a very small cheese plate.
The Thanksgiving meal is SO heavy and indulgent that I hate serving anything ahead of time and ruining the meal!
Last year I made this spinach artichoke twist star and it has been such a hit. It’s deceivingly easy to make and tastes amazing. And while we love that, I am always afraid it’s just TOO much at Thanksgiving. A bit too much before the meal.
So! Enter these smoky cheddar twists.
These are so embarrassing easy! All you need is a sheet of puff pastry. You’re going to sprinkle it all over with either chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika.
The chipotle chili powder definitely has some heat. I wouldn’t say it’s spicy right off the bat, but it leaves the heat and spice lingering in your mouth. If you’re not into spicy things, I’d skip it.
The smoked paprika (make sure it’s smoked and not HOT!) will be super smoky, without the spice. It’s easily one of my favorite spices (I’m sure you’ve noticed this) and I love using it.
Both work, depending on what you’re going for.
The key is to use freshly grated cheddar. Press it gently into the puff pastry and it will stick a bit. Twist the puff pastry strips and then bake!
Don’t worry about any rogue cheese shreds that fall out of the twists. They will get crisp on the pan and stick to the twists and be the perfect bite of sharp, crispy cheese! Seriously, it’s one of the best parts.
The only downside about puff pastry twists is that these are best when baked fresh. They hold up for an hour or two after baking, but there is nothing like flakey, buttery puff pastry fresh out of the oven. Divine!
The good news is that you can prep these ahead of time! You can make the twists and either store them in the fridge or freezer. Remove, brush with egg wash and bake. Done!
Exactly the easy kind of treats we need right now!
Smoky Cheddar Twists
Smoky Cheddar Twists
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water, lightly beaten for egg wash
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the puff pastry sheet on the parchment. Sprinkle all over with the chipotle chili powder (this is a bit spicy) or the smoked paprika (more smoky, less spice!). Cover with the grated cheddar cheese. Lightly press down to press the cheese to the pastry.
- Use a pizza cutter and slice the pastry into 1-inch strips (I cut it from top to bottom, with the sheet horizontal). Take each of those strips and gently twist it from the edges and the center. Twist it four or five times. Don’t worry if there is cheese on the parchment - it will become crispy and delicious!
- Brush the pastry twists with the egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove and serve immediately!
It’s the perfect flakey bite!