I’ve got a big Christmas party taking place at the weekend and my sisters and I have taken over the food preparation for our annual family gathering. As much as I love sausage rolls and frozen party snacks, I wanted to create something a little bit special this year so this week I tested out a recipe for cheesy Christmas stars. Well, I say recipe but really it’s just a matter of constructing the stars rather than cooking them; here’s what I mean… The ingredients comprise of 1 roll of ready-made, ready-rolled light puff pastry, deliciously flavoured Primula (I chose cheese with ham and cheese with smoked salmon – yes, real chopped salmon!) and a grating of mature cheddar. How cute are these limited edition Christmas tubes of Primula?! I’ve stocked up the fridge with them, ready for cheese ‘n’ cracker occasions over the festive period. So, as you can see, all I needed to do was put the cheese stars together, rather than mix up a recipe. Of course, you can make your own puff pastry for the stars if you wish, but I’m short on time and want to make the preparations for the Christmas party as easy as possible. Here’s how to do it: Roll out the pastry and cut into squares. I managed to get 24 squares out of my roll of pastry and cooked them in two batches. Use a sharp knife to cut into the corners of the squares, leaving space uncut in the centre of each square for the cheesy filling. Squeeze some tasty Primula into the centre of each square before folding in the corners to create a star shape. Take each alternating corner and bring them together into the centre of the star. Pinch them together in the middle to seal the tips of pastry together. Brush with a little milk and grate over a sprinkling of mature cheddar. For my second batch I also sprinkled the stars with paprika at this stage to add colour and even more flavour. You could also add diced ham into the cheese centres or sprinkle on chopped chives to create a range of different flavours.Put the stars in the oven at 200 degrees for around 15 minutes or however long your packet of pastry recommends! Some of my centres popped open during the baking process but you can easily press them back together into the centre of the stars while the pastry is still warm. What do you think? I can tell you now that these little cheesy stars taste delicious and I’ll definitely be making them again this weekend for the party!While my stars were in the oven I decided to try out one of the Christmas Snack Hacks on the Primula website. There are lots of fun ideas for party foods and even some rather swish starter ideas. Using a sharp knife cut off the base of the tomatoes (not the stalk end!) and scrape out the seeds and core of each tomato. Fill the tomatoes with Primula cheese straight from the tube. Insert a cocktail stick into the stalk end of the tomato. Dip into chopped chives to finish them off.I covered an apple with foil as a ‘holder’ in which to insert the skewers. I think this will look great on my festive party table and I can’t believe how tasty this snack is, considering how simple it is to put together. It makes a change from retro cheese ‘n’ pineapple chunks anyway! Let me know if you try any of these recipes and tell me what party snacks you’ll be baking over the festive period by leaving me a comment below or send me your recipe links to @Cassiefairy on twitter. Merry Christmas everyone!
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