Combining sweet, salty and savory components creates a tasty treat that pairs equally well with a pre-dinner cocktail or an afternoon tea break. These miniature jam tarts with a cheese crust are a big hit in my house, and can be prepared through step 7 and frozen to bake off when you need a quick appetizer. 

Isn't that the perfect charming serving plate? My friend Elena Wendelyn of Poulsbo made it.

Cheddar Bites Poblano Jelly Plate2017
Ingredients (Makes 18 pieces)

2 1/8 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp salt
2 2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
~1/2 cup Sweetlife Farm Smoked Poblano Pepper Jelly


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Grease 3 mini muffin tins
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together
4. Grate cheese-the finer the better. I used the grater attachment on my food processor.
5. Switch to the regular blade attachment on the food processor and add the flour mixture and the cheese. Cut the butter into chunks and add. Pulse this mixture together until it starts to take shape. Continue processing until a ball of dough has formed, about 30 seconds.
6. Roll into balls the size of walnuts and place in the muffin tins. 
Cheddar Bites Rolled   
7. Using a clean thumb, press a hollow into the middle of each ball. You can freeze these at this point: place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight container. When you are ready to bake, put them back into the mini tins and keep going...if you don't thaw first they will take a bit longer to bake. 

Cheedar Bites thumbprint    

8. Using a small spoon, place a small amount of jelly into each thumbprint. I didn't measure the jelly; it took about 1/2 cup. Variation: try these with our Cranberry Jalapeno or Pepper Jelly, or one of our berry jams.

Pay attention to the thumbprints: they should not have any flat edges where the jelly will escape when it melts in the oven. It's not the end of the world, but the jelly gets a little burned where it leaks out, and those pieces end up being the cook's reward-er, samples-since they aren't as attractive as the rest.

9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. They should just be showing color on the top, and will be a nice golden brown on the bottom when you un-mold them.

10. Cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully tip them out with a small butter knife and cool completely on a rack.

11. Store in a single layer in an airtight container.