Every weekend my family made our routine trip to Liberty Avenue in Queens, NY to purchase our Guyanese baked goods for the week. Our first stop was to the ever so popular and historic bakery, Sybil's. Sybil's has come to be a landmark in our community, one that is easily recognizable by the look and taste of their baked goods. Two of my absolute favorite pastries from Sybil's are their pine tarts and cheese rolls. Usually, when my dad purchased a bag of cheese rolls, I would have already eaten one in the car before we got home. It was flaky, cheesy, slightly spicy, absolutely delicate, so delicate that you could see the crumbs in the bag. I made sure to always wash those scrumptious cheese rolls down with a bottle of cream soda. Oh, the childhood memories...
Check out my pine tart recipe here.
Baking cheese rolls take patience and focus, the crust and assembly are what will take up most of your time. You can buy yourself some time by purchasing already shredded cheese and using store-bought pie crust (which I have done in the past and works great if you don't feel like spending hours on this), but if you are really in the mood to make it all from scratch then this is an excellent recipe.
Guyanese Cheese Rolls
- ⅓ cup salted butter
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
- 3 cups flour (more as needed to bring together)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp curry powder (optional)
- ¾ cup ice cold water
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 tsp pepper sauce (more if desired)
- dash of garlic powder
- dash of black pepper
- dash of dry parsley flakes
- egg whites for brushing edges
Egg wash to brush on top
- 1 egg + 1 tbsp water OR
- To make this vegetarian, use 2 tbsp melted butter mixed with yellow or red food coloring instead of egg wash.
- Whisk salt and curry powder (if using) into flour.
- Add butter and shortening.
- With a pastry cutter or fork, cut shortening and butter into flour until small pieces are formed throughout the dough. Add about ¾ cup ice cold water to the dough and knead slightly to form a ball.
- This can be done quickly in a food processor by adding dry ingredients, pulsing, adding shortening and butter, pulsing until pea sized form, then adding water until ball forms.
- Place dough on plastic wrap, flatten and shape into a square. Refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight. Remove dough from fridge an 20 minutes before use so it can thaw.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred cheese and mix in mustard, pepper sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and parsley flakes, toss and set aside.
- Cut dough into 16 squares for thinner cheese rolls or 9 squares for thicker cheese rolls. Flatten one square and roll into a rectangular shape.
- Brush edges of dough with egg whites. Fill a tablespoon or two on the lower half, roll into the center then add more cheese. Seal edges.
- Place all cheese rolls on a baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until rolls are golden brown.
If you are nervous about the cheese oozing out of the rolls, you can pierce the tops with a fork to allow the steam to escape while baking.