These tasty little nuggets came about as a copy cat recipe from a Trader Joe’s item I loved. A fellow Trader Joe’s lover and good friend of mine found these in the freezer section. Once I tried them at a get-together at her house, I was hooked. They are warm little bite size pastry dough cups filled with feta cheese and caramelized onions. Easy enough I thought, I’ll give making these myself a try.
If you have any experience with caramelizing onions these will be a breeze! If you don’t have experience caramelizing onions, well that’s what I’m here for! Really all you need is patience, however, I’ll add some tips and tricks below to hopefully make it an easy process for everyone.
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Additional tools needed:
Non-stick cooking spray
First up, caramelizing those onions. There are A LOT of different ways you can do this, seriously just google it! I like to peel and slice my onion into small strips, trying to make the pieces the same size so they cook and caramelize evenly. Now you can just throw your onions into a frying pan with nothing else and cook them that way. I prefer to make mine with a tablespoon of butter and healthy sprinkle of both salt and sugar.
In a large frying pan over medium heat place your onions and butter, sprinkle generously with salt and sugar. Then let them sit, once they start to brown slightly stir them around, then let them sit some more. Repeat this process until the onions are a rich dark caramel color. About 20 minutes total should do it, depending on the size of your onion. The best way to know if they are done is by their color. If you notice any sticking to the bottom of your frying pan add a splash of water, stir and keep cooking. You might need to do this more than once. Once your onions are done, set them aside to cool slightly while you work on the dough.
When caramelizing your onions if your pan starts to look like this first picture below, don’t fret, this is what the splash of water I mentioned above will fix by deglazing your pan.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and roll out your dough sheet as evenly as you can, it should look like a large rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, start slicing your dough into 24 small squares. Six 1” slices vertically, then come back with your pizza cutter to make four 1” slices horizontally. This will leave you with 24 dough squares.
Next generously spray your mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Now gently push the 24 dough squares into the 24 mini muffin cups. Top each muffin cup with a spoonful of feta and spoonful of caramelized onions. Bake in the oven 10-12 minutes or until the dough is a light golden brown. Take out, and enjoy warm.
These are so yummy, and really different from what is usually served at get-togethers. They’re not fried like a lot of game day food, or a dip, so it’s a great idea if you’re in charge of bringing a new appetizer. If you’re short on time to caramelize the onions there’s a hack for that. A sprinkle of baking soda over your onions can help them to cook faster. However, this will leave you with more of an onion jam consistency, less individual caramelized onion pieces. That being said, I doubt you would tell much of difference once baked with the cheese.
To keep these warm for the big game, or party, place them into a small crock pot on low heat. Feta being a hard to melt cheese means it doesn’t really melt into the stringy, gooey (sometimes messy) way that a cheddar or mozzarella does. Making these little bites perfect to stack in the crock pot without worrying about them sticking together.