These toasts have been served for at least 28 years at the house where my mother still lives. One Thanksgiving, my mother and grandmother underestimated their popularity and left them out of the feast, causing a near riot among our extended family. Happily, that mistake was never repeated.
Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 1 hr
Makes 56 hors d’oeuvres.
- 1/2lb extra-sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
- 1/2lb cold sliced lean bacon, finely chopped
- 1small onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
- 11/2tablespoons drained bottled horseradish
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/4teaspoon black pepper
- 14very thin slices firm white sandwich bread
DIRECTIONS Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Stir together cheese, bacon, onion, horseradish, salt, and pepper in a bowl with a rubber spatula until blended well.
Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons mixture evenly to edges of each slice of bread with a small offset spatula or butter knife. Arrange slices in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and freeze, covered with wax paper, until firm, about 15 minutes.
Trim crusts off bread and reserve for another use (see cooks’ note, below), then cut each slice into 4 squares. Bake toasts on baking sheet until beginning to brown on edges, about 20 minutes.
Cooks’ notes:• Reserved crusts (with some of topping still on them) can be baked at 375°F until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, then cooled. Break up crusts and sprinkle over salads.
• Toasts can be prepared and cut 2 weeks ahead and frozen, layered between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. Thaw before baking.