I was looking for a quick snack to bring to a friend‘s house for TV night and found these Cheddar Puffs on one of my go-to food blogs, The Pioneer Woman. Even though the recipe claims these are easy and only require 15 minutes of prep time, there were a few steps that seemed excessively complicated and time-consuming to me.
Two beaten egg whites? Really? In a salty snack? Yes. really. I made a few with just the butter/cream cheese/cheddar mixture and I didn’t know how they could get any better — until I added the egg white. In the photo above, you can see that the three snacks on top are dense and crispy. Those do not have egg white. The three snacks on bottom are light and puffy. Apparently, that’s what the egg white does. So I say, go the extra mile, dirty a couple more dishes, use the beaten egg whites.
Do I really have to roll each individual bread cube in the cheese mixture? Why can’t I just dump all of it in a mixing bowl and stir it up? The deliciousness of each bite is directly related to the amount of cheese on it — the more the better. This pretty much requires you to coat the bread cubes one at a time. I got impatient halfway through and stirred everything together. Those pieces turned out more like cheesy croutons. Plan to spend at least 20 minutes on this step alone.
Do I really have to freeze these? For twice the amount of time that they bake? No. Definitely not. I tried it both ways and it didn’t seem to make a difference. Only freeze them if you’re going to prepare them in advance and bake them later. As delicious as these are the day they are baked, they are downright gross out of a Ziploc bag the next day. So only bake as many as you’re going to eat.
These were amazing and, even though I complained about many of the steps, fairly easy. They’ll probably be my new go-to party food. The great thing about that is that I already have several variations in mind — substitute smoked paprika for the mustard or green onions for the shallot, toss in a pinch of cayenne or load them up with garlic salt. Not that they weren’t perfect as they were…