Grandma Bessie’s Simple and Savory Cheese Puffs Recipe Styled-up for Party Time!

Rich and buttery and way-cheesy with a snappy little crunch, this delightful all-American retro cheese puff makes a come-back as a charming little crisp. Punched up just a tad with a bright and savory kick, you can forget the dip ’cause these classic darlings are flavorful enough to go it solo at your next wine and cocktails event. They also look cute saddled right up alongside a nice homemade bowl of soup. And, did I say simple to make with endless variations? Indeed!

Basket of homemade vintage cheese puff crackers bake this bread recipe
Rich and buttery and way-cheesy with a snappy little crunch, this delightful all-American retro cheese puff makes a come-back as a charming little crisp. Punched up just a tad with a bright and savory kick, you can forget the dip ’cause these classic darlings are flavorful enough to go it solo at your next wine and cocktails event. They also look cute saddled right up alongside a nice homemade bowl of soup. And, did I say simple to make with endless variations? Indeed!

Wine and Cheese Puffs Party Bake This BreadThe perfect homemade nosh! Retro cheese balls, vintage cheese puffs, old-fashioned cheese straws. They all have one thing in common. Well, two things, actually. Cheese and butter. Lots of both. In fact, there’s hardly much else in this recipe. Close cousin to Fannie Farmer’s turn-of-the-Century cheese straws (made with puff pastry), this little darlin’ is a little more country and a lot less fussy.

Vintage Carved Toothpicks photo by Leslie Macchiarella
Vintage Toothpicks

The basis of this recipe comes from my dear Grandma Bess’s own recipe card collection, although I see just about the same simple recipe over scads of decades. It is the simplest of recipes –using just cheese (a pound of it, which is a big block), butter (a lot of it) and a little flour. I added a touch of fresh parsley and some kick-up spices that you won’t actually taste as spicy but they add a little zest. We tried adding bunches of other things, like baking powder and other leaveners to puff it up but the goodness seems to be in the baked cheese and the little snap of crunch. Try the recipe with and without baking powder and test it for yourself.

Easy peazy cheesy crackers for your next hor’s d’oeuvre event comin up!

Grandma Geary's cheese puffs recipe collection bake this bread
Grandma Geary’s cheese puffs recipe collection

Tools Needed for Homemade Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers (just a few):
Baking Spray to coat the baking pans
1 or 2 sheet pans or cookie pans or pizza pans (depending on what you have handy and how many you wish to bake at one time)
Large Mixing Bowl
Whisk
Wooden spoon
Your hands for rolling, or a rolling-pin and knife for easy roll and cut
Optional: Counter space with a dusting of flour (if you use the rolling and cutting tip)

Homemade cheese puffs recipe baking on a pizza pan Bake This Bread

Ingredients for Homemade Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers Recipe:
1 pound (about 4 cups) of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (2 cubes) softened unsalted butter
2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, fine chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
optional (but I can’t tell the difference with it): 2 teaspoons baking powder (for very slightly puffier cheese puffs)
Spices:
1/8 teaspoon paprika, fine quality
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard powder, fine ground
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh super-fine lemon zest if using a micro zester, otherwise, super-fine chopping is required – or it will taste too lemony

Okay, let’s rock ‘n roll vintage style!

Step 1: Grate a whole bunch of extra sharp cheddar cheese:

Grate and set aside
1 pound (about 4 cups) of sharp cheddar cheese

1 pound Grated Cheese for Cheese Crackers recipe Bake This Bread

2. Warm butter to soft (but not melted):

Bring to room temperature and set aside:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup butter for Cheese Puff Crackers recipe Bake This Bread
3. Chop some fresh parsley:

Chop a handful of parsley in order to achieve:
2 Tablespoons fine-chopped Italian parsley

Chopped Parsley for Cheese Puff Crackers recipe Bake This Bread

4. Measure and mix your dry ingredients:

In a large bowl, stir with a whisk:
2 cups all-purpose flour
optional: 2 teaspoons baking powder (for very slightly puffier cheese puffs, although I tried with and without and could not see the difference)
1/8 teaspoon paprika, fine quality
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard powder, fine ground
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional: 1/2 teaspoon fresh super-fine lemon zest if using a micro zester, otherwise, super-fine chopping is required – or it will taste too lemony

Flour and Spices for Cheese Puff Crackers Recipe Bake this Bread
5. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon:

Using a wooden spoon, stir until thoroughly combined:
the mixed dry ingredients
the grated cheese
the softened butter

Mixing Cheese Butter and Flour for Vintage Cheese Puffs Crackers Bake This Bread

6. Option Roll and shape:

Golf balls are the starter size and shape if you’re going to make specialty shapes…

Shaping a cheese puff ball recipe bakethisbread

Place your crafted creations a few inches apart on sheet pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Making different cheese puff shapes bake this bread

Option Roll out and Cut (the easy way):

Sprinkle a little flour and roll the dough out about a half an inch thick and shape it with your hands to form a rectangle.

A good shape for the final cookie is about a finger-length long (about 3″) and about a digit wide (about 1″), so shape the rectangle to be about 6 inches wide so that when it’s cut down the middle you will get 3″ long shapes.

Rolling out cheese dough for vintage cheese puff cracker recipe bake this bread

Cut the dough right down the middle if you’ve got dough 2-fingers wide.

Easy Cheese Puff Crackers Dough Tip Bake This Bread

Place the cut shapes onto a sheet pan prepared with cooking spray (this is my pizza pan baker). ๐Ÿ™‚

Sliced cheese puff dough ready to bake bake this bread

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until lightly golden and lightly crisp.

Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before removing to wire rack for cooling, or heck, just straight into the hands of your party guests or to a parchment-lined basket covered with a cloth to hold for serving. You may store these in an air tight plastic container after they are completely cooled.

Round Cheese Balls and Long Cheese Puff Crackers Bake This Bread recipe
Here’s a close look at the disc shaped puffs.

Round Cheese Puff Close Up BakeThisBread
And a close-up look at the long shapes (I like these best)…

Close up of top of vintage cheese puff cracker bake this bread
The underside of each little puff should be basically the same color as the top, not over dark or overly brown.

Golden Bottom of Vintage Cheese Puff Cracker recipe BakeThisBread
I brought a basket of these to the soups and stews gathering with my friends in the Los Angeles Food Bloggers and I came home with none, so hoping that means they liked them. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find all the recipes for all the soups and stews from our awesome members by visiting the Shockingly Delicious blog.

Food Bloggers Los Angeles FBLA Soups Stews Meeting Bake This Bread
Thank you for dropping in to check out this fun little kitchen DIY baking project. Join our cake party on Facebook and hang out on Instagram and Pinterest with me in the evenings and on the week-ends. Happy baking and let me know if you decide to bake this bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

Leslie being interviewed at home photo by J Macchiarella

Leslie

5 thoughts on “Grandma Bessie’s Simple and Savory Cheese Puffs Recipe Styled-up for Party Time!

  1. What Cathy said! Oscar party food, for sure! Not only did I LOVE THESE, I wished you had made twice as many so I could have snitched half to take home! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

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