Pastry-wrapped stuffed olives

    makes 16 to 20

    Crunchy almonds or fiery jalapeños replace the pits in these pastry-enrobed olives. Some might call this one “fussy,” but with only two ingredients that pack a dramatic flavor punch, I consider the fuss factor negligible. If you love the combination of olives and pastry as much as I do, you’ll definitely agree. If you can’t find the large green olives already stuffed with almonds or jalapeños, you can buy large pitted green olives and stuff your own. If this is the only hors d’oeuvre you’re serving, make sure your guests are card-carrying olive lovers. And if you make some of each kind, be sure to separate the almond-filled from the jalapeño-filled—unless your guests enjoy surprises.
    1 frozen deep-dish piecrust, thawed

    16 to 20 almond- or jalapeño-stuffed green olives

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the thawed pastry crust. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to divide the pastry into 16 to 20 pieces about 2 inches square. (You will need to patch the rounded end scraps together to make a few of the pieces.)

    Lightly flour your hands to keep the pastry from sticking to them. Press 1 square of the pastry around each olive to enclose completely, molding with your hands as needed to shape into smooth ovoids. Place on a greased baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to firm up or until ready to use. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. note: These can be made ahead and stored at room temperature. To serve, crisp in a preheated 400°F oven for 2 to 3 minutes.