Cheesy cheese free crab puffs....totally decadent!

Cheesy cheese free crab puffs….totally decadent!

With all of our food intolerances, and my love of cooking, we always end up hosting the holidays. Although there are many easy gluten and dairy free dips (hummus, guacamole, my spinach / artichoke makeover) to be served with veggies or gluten-free crackers and several classic cold options (prosciutto and melon, shrimp cocktail), I needed a go to hot appetizer.

This recipe is an adaptation of my Aunt Donna’s crab muffins. The original recipe used a cheese food product in a jar. This one uses Daiya cheese and a a soy based cream cheese. It is actually an improvement, or I think it is since I haven’t had the original in years. This is a rich, decadent recipe. I do healthy recipes, but this is not one of them, This is for the holidays or a party.

These can be made to the stage where you spread the mixture on the muffins and then frozen. On the day of the party, just defrost and bake (or bake a little longer directly from frozen). Then cut them into quarters and you have hot bready crab puffs. The recipe makes 48 crabby triangles or 12 circles if you decide to eat them for lunch (I did that today..ate them right after I took the picture).

One package (six) english muffins with big yeasty holes in them. I used Food4Life multigrain. Do not use muffins that have a even internal texture.
3/4 cup spectrum butter flavor shortening (you can also use Earth Balance Organic Spread if soy is not an issue)
one half cup soy based cream cheese
1/2 cup daiya cheddar shreds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
one-half teaspoon salt
one-quarter teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
two seven-ounce can crab meat
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

One cookie sheet with a rim, preferably aluminum or enamel
Knife for separating and cutting muffins
Measuring cups and spoons
Fork for mixing
Bowl large enough to allow you to mix crab, shortening and cheeses
Can Opener
Knife and cutting board for mincing onion

Cut muffins in half. You want both sides to be reasonably “bready”.
Beat shortening and cheeses together until well combined. You can use a stick blender if you want to do so. I found a fork worked well.
Add garlic, salt, pepper,paprika, and onion to the cheese mixture and combine thouroughly
Open cans and drain the crab meat, squeeze it dry, then add to mixture.
Spread mixture on thawed open faced muffins.
If you want to freeze the muffins refrigerate them until the shortening hardens then you can put them in a zipper bag and freeze for future use.
When you want to bake them, pull them out of the freezer and bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 10 to 12 minutes
You can bake them from frozen but the baking time may be a bit longer
They will turn golden and puff a bit when they are done
Take them out, let them sit until cool enough to handle, then cut each circle into quarters and serve warm.