Tyropita Trifti Thrakis (Thracian Style Cheese Squares)

Course : Greek
Serves: 10
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Ingredients:

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1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/3 cup milk plus -- --->
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt less -- if cheese is salty
1 cup grated Greek cheeses
2 cups all-purpose flour -- (or more)
 

Preparation / Directions:

Delicious! And simple to make in a large batch for appetizers. As made in Thrace, the soft-dough may be spread into a sheet and cut in squares before baking, or each shaped individually into dainty "bastounakia" (little canes or sticks). The word "trifti" identifies the texture - crisp and crumbly in the mouth. (They are also called "kourou" [cut small].) If making the individual "little canes," they should be half a (dainty) finger wide and a finger in length. The secret of the crispness is in adding only enough flour to make a soft dough. To make about 100 1-inch squares: The mixing of the dough may be begun with an electric mixer, but should be finished by hand. Beat the butter until fluffy, then lower the speed and add the olive oil. Continue beating, and when fluffy beat in the milk, baking powder, salt, if necessary, and cheese. Begin adding flour, but after 1 cup stop beating with the mixer and beat in the remaining flour by hand, adding only enough to make dough soft enough to roll into strips. Knead a few minutes. Spread or roll on buttered sheet (jelly roll tray, cookie sheet, or any flat pan) to a thickness of half-finger's width and cut into squares of desired size (the smaller the better, since they are rich). Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 20 to 25 minutes, moving to the top shelf for the last minutes to achieve a golden chestnut color. (If making the "little canes," the baking time will be 10 to 12 minutes.) Remove when done and cook on a rack. Note: Stored in covered tins, these will keep for several weeks. Source: The Food of Greece by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles. Avenel Books, New York


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