Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Anchovy Puffs


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Asking why I wanted to make Anchovy Puffs is a little like pondering why Jennifer Westfeldt had the hots for Adam Scott in Friends with Kids.

Sometimes attraction cannot be explained by obvious physical factors nor supposition. It is there, it feels good, you want. Plus I love me some anchovies any time I can get them. I love pastry dough fashioned from cream cheese, too. I am always on the lookout for a snack to serve up when guests show up, and this seemed like a great place to start. 

This is a very quick and fun little nibble, and here are some tips to make it more so: 

1. Very important: YOU MUST USE GOOD ANCHOVIES. Don’t talk to me about cans, don’t get on your high horse about bottom feeding. Just get the best you can find. Whole Foods sells the nice ones in a flat plastic container near the expensive yogurt. 

2. Use what you need to make this into a fine paste. I used my Vitamix, which worked okay-ish, save the part where I decided to wash it after by putting soapy water in and running it on high, which resulted in anchovy scented bubbles over half my kitchen counter. I said “Oh dear” at very high volumes and no one came to the rescue, which I guess had to do with the fact the family was watching The Ten Commandments and they were at that part where Moses was gets all badass with his staff. Still. Made note to self to pick up a mortar and pestle along with 12 inch cast iron pan and a martini shaker. 

3. Roll your dough 1/8 of an inch as instructed. Too thick and your puffs will look more like Pop Tarts than puffs. Also seal them properly; I did not use my fork aggressively enough and the paste came out a bit while cooking. I resealed. 

4. The author deanna1001 wants you to fridge your dough (yes correct) and also to put your fishy paste in a bag in the fridge and then pipe them into your rolled out dough. I see no need for that second step. Make the paste, take a knife and spread a bit on each full moon before folding them into half moons. 

5. Watch them for over cooking. (You knew that.)

6. Eat them warm. They are an exciting bit of surprise, as your guests bite into the dough, expecting a bit of cheese, and get a mouth full of briny, salty goodness instead. Hurrah! Pour a cocktail. Sit outside. Have another bite. Curse the dog for eating the marker sticks in your potted herbs, leaving you sadly ignorant of what is growing. Think of summer. 


Anchovy Puffs by deanna1001

Makes 4-5 dozen


3 ounces cream cheese (1 small package) softened
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup flour (all purpose)


2 tins anchovies - either flat or rolled with capers (drained)
2 teaspoons capers, drained (only if using flat anchovies)
1 clove garlic, smashed

See the Whole recipe (and save it and print it) here.


Photo by James Ransom

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


Third F. April 23, 2012

I purchased the Dinon brand of anchovies that I found at Whole Foods in order to make this recipe. Did you use one flat to make this recipe or two?

Thanks for your posts. I enjoy reading them!
Jestei April 27, 2012
just one! hope you enjoy!
Jestei April 27, 2012
just one! hope you enjoy!
Third F. April 28, 2012
Thanks! I'm making them tonight!
BoulderGalinTokyo April 13, 2012
Another hilarious post from Jenny--Love reading them and looking forward to your tribulations. LOL
Jestei April 16, 2012
many, many thanks!
LucyS April 9, 2012
This article has given me the great inspiration to read all of your past columns instead of studying. Thank you! What fun.
Jestei April 9, 2012
I feel like you should study LucyS. But you can eat a little first. And then drink.
LucyS April 9, 2012
Done and done! Thanks for all the great write-ups.
deanna1001 April 9, 2012
I'm so glad you tried these. They have been my favorite cocktail snack for years, and as they freeze well, no reason to ever do without. Love that you used your vitamix! And thanks, James Ransom, for an awesome photo!
Jestei April 9, 2012
I love them. I will make them again and again.
BlueKaleRoad April 9, 2012
"Briny, salty goodness" - oh yeah. I adore anchovies. Have you tried the marinated white anchovies next to the cheese counter at Whole Foods? Total splurge and worth every bite.
Jestei April 9, 2012
Yes indeed these are the anchovies I refer to here and the ones I used for this recipe. At my WF they are in the yogurt/cheese area. I really think good anchovies are the key to this recipe.
pierino April 10, 2012
In Spain these are called boquerones. Very different flavor from oil or salt packed anchovies (although the latter is what restaurants typically use because they go through tons of anchovies). Boquerones will almost always cure anchovy phobes who have never tasted anything other than "pizza" anchovies, which are pretty terrible.
Jestei April 11, 2012
yes. that's exactly what they are. i order them anytime i see them even tho i always have them on hand.
Sagegreen April 9, 2012
Oh yum. What scrumptious little bites these are; they almost look like smiles. Another great find.
Jestei April 9, 2012
I hope you try them and enjoy them.
mrslarkin April 9, 2012
omg you have a vitamix? i am jealous.
Jestei April 9, 2012
I do. Love the husband.