If appetizers could greet you, this one would say “Hey, y’all!” I was inspired to create something party worthy with the Strawberry Jalapeño Smucker’s Fruit & Honey spread I found in my December Degustabox. (If you aren’t familiar with Degustabox, read my rundown here and click here if you want to try it for yourself for half off + free shipping!) I already had some PB&J thumbprint cookies on my mind, which you’ll see the recipe for next week, but didn’t think strawberry jalapeno would be the best flavor profile for them. Then I thought of making one of those cheese balls I had tasted at office parties in the past but…I don’t really make or serve those and didn’t want to share something here that wouldn’t actually come out of my kitchen in real life. Do I get any points for transparency? I finally landed on something with puff pastry and, of course, Pinterest helped me decide on the idea of a braid. Obviously, sweet and spicy flavors would come from the fruit spread but “What about savory? And texture?” I thought. Then I thought “Duh, girl: bacon! And pecans!” And that, folks, is a snippet of my typical thought process. My elders might say I’m a little touched. I would just say, creative. 🙂 Think Issa Rae’s fire bars when she’s getting ready in the bathroom mirror…except my thoughts don’t rhyme. But let’s get back on track. Looking at the ingredients, I realized that, although it looks a little French and fancy, this pastry braid will scream “TEXAS” in your mouth when you taste it. Hence, the name. With just ten more days til Christmas, it’s holiday crunch time and I am [hopefully] sharing this in enough time for you to add it to your party foods lineup for Christmas or New Year’s but, if not, it’s quite good at any time of year or day. I think this would be just as fabulous for breakfast or brunch as it would be for an evening appetizer. Just add some OJ and you’re pretty much set. Also, please do not let appearances fool you. Although it’s pretty to look at, this bundle of deliciousness is beyond easy to make! No gourmet tools or hard-to-find ingredients are required here. Don’t believe me? Just watch…or scroll to see the whole process, which takes just about 30 minutes. I timed it.
What are you cooking up for the holidays? Let me know below. Thanks for reading!
In partnership with Degustabox. As always, all opinions are my own.