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Anchovy Puffs

Makes about 5 dozen puffs

I love hors d'oeuvres and party foods. They can be a lot of work but, when a special occasion comes along, I go for it. These anchovy pastry puffs are relatively easy and delicious. The original recipe I found called for anchovy paste, but I prefer making my own from canned anchovies. I also added the garlic. Even people who do not think they like anchovies will love these pastries because the flavor of cooked anchovies is very mellow, pleasantly salty and somewhat nutty.

Ingredients

Beat cream cheese with butter until well blended. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Transfer dough to a plastic bag and flatten into disc. Chill.

Heat a small, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add just enough olive oil, about 1 teaspoon, to make a film in bottom of the skillet and reduce heat to low. Add garlic and sauté until soft. Add anchovies and cook until anchovies melt and become a paste, being very careful not to brown. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 400º F. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to thickness of about 1/8-inch. Cut into 2-inch rounds. Thinly spread round each with the anchovy mixture, leaving a little space around the edges. Fold over and crimp edges with a fork. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.

Notes: I always use unsalted butter and reduced fat cream cheese. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer and reheated, without thawing, at 400° just until hot.