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Jan 24, 2009 02:28 PM

Cheese "puffs?"

I live in New Orleans. A friend of mine who is from a family that has been in Louisiana for many generations makes an amazing hors d'oeuvre. It is not by any means highbrow cooking: I imagine that, like many other regional family recipes I've had here in New Orleans ("Mock Oyster Dip" being a good example) it is probably made with store-bought processed foods like Bunny Bread or Velveeta. But these things are so good, every time my friend brings them to a party, we cannot stop eating them. And, of course, it's her family's recipe and she won't give it to me! I have looked in all my old-school Louisiana cookbooks with no results. I thought maybe someone out there in New Orleans Chow-Land might have a family recipe they would share. I call them "cheese puffs" because I don't know what else to call them. They are made by making a yummy spread out of cheddar cheese (or maybe some processed cheddar cheese imitation) plus a bunch of spices (it has a little bit of a kick to it), spreading this on small rounds that you cut out of white bread (my friend's are about the size of a quarter), and then baking the cheese-spread-rounds in the oven until they are crisp. If anyone has any idea what I am talking about and has a recipe, you would be very popular in my household. If no one here can help, I am going to write to Marcelle Bienvenue and Judy Walker in the Times-Pic. Thanks a lot!

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  1. Hi Puma, I feel your pain - I know how folks can be w/ their secret family recipes! But I am trying to track it down for you from an old friend whose family just put out a cookbook. I checked but it's not in there. I've heard here mention eating them b4 (I'm sure I have too at some point) but not sure if she/family member have made them. I'll do my best - hang in there!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ImissMcKenzies

      Oh, I appreciate it. Thanks! In doing a little research, we think it might not be cheddar based, might be some other kind of cheese. I think there are chives in it. It's probably a very simple recipe but remains a bit of a mystery at the moment. Thanks again for your sleuthing.

    2. From page 28 of the Legacy cookbook, published by the Thibodaux Service league, titled Robin's cheese puffs:
      1 loaf unsliced bread
      1/2 pound margarine
      1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
      1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
      6 oz cream cheese
      1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
      1 tsp dry mustard
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1/2 tsp salt
      4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
      Remove crusts from bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (you could cut rounds from sliced bread instead) and set aside. Melt margarine, stir in cheeses and seasonings until blended. Fold in egg whites. Spear bread cubes and dip into cheese mixture, coating well (you could spread the rounds with the mixture). Place apart on cookie sheets and freeze until firm, then place in a freezer bags until needed. When ready to prepare, heat oven to 400; bake frozen puffs on cookie sheet for 10 minutes...serve hot.

      I'm also reminded of another cheese appetizer: crabmeat cheese crisps. 1/2 cup butter, 1 jar of Old English cheese (kraft product), 1 1/2 tsp mayo, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 7 oz crabmeat. Mix all togther, then spread on split english muffins. Freeze; to serve, cut frozen muffin into 4 wedges and bake at 400 degrees until bubbly at 15 minutes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        I found another version, from the Jackson, MS junior league cookbook titled Southern Sideboards, p 30, titled Mrs. Rhyne's Cheese Boxes.
        1/2 pound sharp or American cheese, grated
        1 cup of mayo
        1 T durkee sauce (I think this is bottled chili sauce)
        1 tsp prepared mustard
        1 T worcestershire sauce
        Onion or garlic juice to taste
        Salt & pepper
        Thin sliced bread
        Blend cheese & mayo, then add remaining sauces & seasonings. Trim crust from bread. Spread 2 slices with the cheese mixture, place one atop the other, then cut into 4 squares. Repeat until desired number are made; coat sides of squares with cheese mixture. Toast at 400 degrees immediately before serving. Recipe yields enough spread to coat two loaves of sliced bread. The recipe notes that Mrs Rhyne was Chi Omega housemother at Ole Miss during the 50s.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Another version, from Pirate's Pantry, p 141, titled cheese biscuits:
          1 inch thick slice of bread
          3 oz cream cheese
          1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese
          1 stick margarine
          2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
          Cut bread into cubes. Melt cream cheese, cheddar, and margarine together; fold cheese mixture into egg whites. Dip bread cubes. Let stand in fridge overnight; bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            These all look pretty great. I appreciate it. Will try some of these out and let you know.

        2. Two recipes, both with onions:


          Cheese Puffs (

          3 green onions, finely chopped
          1 c. grated cheddar cheese
          1/2 cup mayonnaise
          24 toast rounds

          Combine green onions with cheese and mayonnaise. Spread on toast rounds. In 8 1/4 inch shallow baking dish, heat half the rounds on medium for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until bubbly. Turn baking dish once during cooking. Repeat with remaining puffs. Makes 24 appetizers.


          Cheese Puffs (Dean Ferring, chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.)

          1/2 small yellow onion
          1/2 cup mayonnaise
          3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
          2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
          Salt and freshly ground black pepper
          8 slices white bread

          In a medium bowl combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1/2 small chopped yellow onion, 3 tbsp fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

          Remove crusts from bread and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden.

          Spread 1 tsp mixture onto each round and sprinkle with cheese. Brown under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes and serve

          1. I know exactly what recipe you are talking about, my friends in Slidell used to make these for us all the time but I don't know that you can get the correct ingredients anymore. There used to be a loaf of Cheese called Olde English that came in a box like Velveeta.
            You let the Olde English cheese soften and then mixed it with two sticks of real butter. To that you would add Tabasco and garlic salt and mix until it tastes like you like it.
            You freeze a loaf of bread and when it is frozen hard, you seperate it into three slice pieces and then cut the crust off. Then you quarter the bread and "ice" it with the cheese mixture.
            You put it in the fridge for an hour or so and then pop it in the oven at 400 until it is brown.
            It is so good. They still make the Olde English cheese but it is in jars and we have used it a few times but you have to freeze it instead of just chilling it.