Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gouda Beggar's Purse

It’s always handy to have a couple really simple and fun recipes under your belt for the holiday season.  I saw this Beggar’s Purse recipe on HGTV many years ago, and I still use it… if only once a year.  The baked “purse” of Gouda is incredibly rich and addictive.  It reads as follows:

1 roll refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 round Gouda cheese, wax removed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped pecans, toasted

Unroll the dough and pinch together the perforations.  Place the wheel of cheese in the center of the dough.  Spread the top of the cheese with the mustard and sprinkle on the pecans.

Draw the sides of the dough up to form a sack around the cheese and pinch the dough in place.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

You can also cut the dough into smaller portions, and use smaller amounts of cheese to make miniature purses.

I basically follow the recipe except I triple the amount of nuts.  You can use toasted pecans or just chopped walnuts.  I also sandwich the cheese with mustard and nuts, so the purse is assembled as such… crescent roll dough, 1½ teaspoons mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, Gouda cheese, 1½ teaspoons mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped nuts… then draw the sides of the dough up around the cheese.
I like to leave an opening in the top of the “purse” or “pouch” of dough, so you can see a little bit of the cheese.  And I sprinkle the opening with another tablespoon of chopped nuts before putting the whole concoction in the oven.  It’s especially pretty in a small quiche pan or large ceramic ramekin.  Plan on baking more than 20 minutes.  Your dough shell should be golden, slightly crispy brown.
Gouda Beggar’s Purse is popular on a formal buffet or as a substitute for cheese and crackers with soup.  You could even shape the dough and cheese to look more like a cornucopia for the Thanksgiving table!  One year, I served individual purses instead of dinner rolls.  But I warn you… this is gooey, creamy, buttery decadence.  So remember to pair it with something fresh and light.

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