The countdown is on. It’s two days until we all stuff our faces full of dressing, pie, and turkey (jk, we’re all just here for the sides), and I am so ready. I guess there’s people in America who don’t get into the communal tradition of a shared table and breaking bread, but, if you didn’t already guess, I am so here for any reason to pile my plate full of carbs and stare across the spread at a bunch of faces I love. For a family-focused baking blogger, Thanksgiving is my dream day, and I can’t wait to dive in. So if you haven’t already nailed down exactly what you plan to contribute at the holiday feast you’re attending, let me lovingly nudge you in the direction of these gouda cheese puffs and a simple holiday snack board. It’s a cute and yummy way to make a fancy looking spread, and I’m eager to get a few of y’all in the kitchen to make it.
So why a holiday snack board? Why these gouda cheese puffs? Thanksgiving may be all about the main event of a turkey plus some fixin’s (that’s Southern talk for side dishes, by the way), but every gathering needs a few appetizers. You can consider these gouda cheese puffs the pre-game to any Thanksgiving supper, and loading them onto a snack board with a spread of other semi-homemade treats is a surefire way to make your guests extra thankful. Let’s start by chatting the ins and outs of the puffs.
These gouda cheese puffs utilize the star shortcut of store-bought puff pastry. The frozen dough is really simple to work with and adds a terrific amount of texture and flavor to whatever baked appetizer you’re making. Here, the dough is loaded up with a buttery onion and thyme saute and then baked under a blanket of Kerrygold Blarney Castle cheese. Yes, it’s as delicious and indulgent as it sounds, and they’re fun to make! Here’s how to do it.
First, follow the instructions on your puff pastry to gently and briefly thaw it out. Unfold the sheet and use a 2″ round cookie cutter to trim out rounds of dough. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and then use a second smaller cookie cutter or a pairing knife to score a 1/4″ border around the dough. We do this so that the piled toppings can rest in the middle while the outer 1/4″ can puff and flake in the oven. YUM. Put the prepared dough in the freezer to keep cold while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Thinly sliced onions cook down with butter and thyme until translucent and barely browned, and Worcestershire sauce and ground mustard are added to the mix for extra flavor. Set the onions aside to cool while you grate the Kerrygold gouda, and then pile it all into the unbaked puff pastry.
Once baked, the outer edge of the pastries are puffed and flaked while the interior is rich and ultra-savory. These are best served right after baking and topped with bacon or tomato jam. YUM. In the meantime, you can begin prepping your holiday snack board. Here’s a few details on how to throw one together in a cinch!
Feel free to assemble your snack board on any type of serving tray or platter that you have. I like to make sure mine if brimming with lots of goodies, so consider what you plan to put on it while picking a platter. Here I’ve used a slate cheese board, but a fine wood cutting board, ceramic dish, or even a pizza board works splendidly! I’ll link a few favorites here and here and here.
I like to anchor my snack boards with a few larger staples. Here, the gouda cheese puffs were the main event, and I supplemented entirely with store-bought appetizers. Pre-made hummus was gussied up in a pretty dish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and spice. A whipped goat cheese dip that I found at my grocery store also got the royal treatment in a fresh bowl with herbs. Finally, a single block of cheese (I’m looking at you, Kerrygold!) and some peppered salami bulked up the offerings and and added some substance to an otherwise carb-fest. Other great options to consider include veggie dip, pimento cheese spread, a baked wheel of brie, or another kind of salsa or dip.
Once you’ve got some heavy hitters on your board, fill in the gaps with things to eat with them. Assorted crackers, cheese straws, sliced baguette, or pita chips are a few of my favorites. Choose varieties that taste good and will add texture to your board. With any remaining space I like to add pickled veggies, olives, bite-sized fruits, or any variety of crudités. Jams, relishes, or a small jar of honey often work well too depending on the elements of your board.
Start your board assembly with the larger items or anything that requires a bowl. It’s easier to fill in with the snack crackers and relishes than it is to try to find a home for a giant cheese log. Start big and work your way smaller. You can garnish your store-bought dips and spreads with fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil to make it feel homemade. No one has to know you just threw a bunch of pre-made goods on a tray! If toothpicks, relish forks, or spreading knives are needed for any of your board items, be sure to bring those with you so that your host isn’t left rummaging for them at the last minute. This is supposed to make things easy, remember?
Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post! I love to include their cheeses on my board, and it was a happy find that their gouda tasted so great on the gouda cheese puffs. If you’re in need of a last minute addition to your Thanksgiving menus, I hope you’ll include these! I’m incredibly thankful for all your who join in on my baking fun and will certainly be counting you on my gratitude list this year. Happy baking and Happy Thanksgiving!
If you like these gouda cheese puffs you should try:
Cheesy Dinner Rolls
Tomato Olive Rolls
Tomato Galette With Basil Pesto
Butternut Squash Soup
Gouda Cheese Puffs and Holiday Snack Boards
These gouda cheese puffs are made from flaky puff pastry, sautéed onions, and shredded cheese. Little appetizers with yummy flavor!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12
- Category: Appetizer
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, sliced thinly (1/8”)
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, if desired
- 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
- 1/3 cup bacon jam
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry sheet on the piece of parchment or on a lightly floured counter. Use a 2” round cutter to trim out 12 circles of dough. You may have extra dough- feel free to freeze and save or make a double batch of puffs. Use a smaller round cutter or a paring knife to score a ¼” border around the edge of each pastry circle and prick the inner circle with a fork a few times. Place in the fridge to keep cool while you prep your filling.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook until the edges of the onions start to get dark. Add the mustard and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- If desired, add a teaspoon of water to the lightly beaten egg and use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of the wash on top of each tart. Divide the sautéed onions among the rounds of , piling a few onions only into the inner circle of each round. Depending on the size of your onion you may have a little leftover. Divide the cheese among the tarts, sprinkling it and the parmesan directly on top of the onions. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the puffs have risen and the edges are golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Add a teaspoon of the bacon jam to the top of each tart and serve!