Cheddar and Bacon Puffs make one of the best appetizers and nibbles to make ahead and keep on hand for when guests stop by or when entertaining. So when Cracker Barrel Cheese asked me to share a recipe for an easy snack perfect for entertaining and that is easily portable, I knew this had to be the one!
And since we are right on the brink of the busiest entertaining season of the year, I knew it would be the perfect time to share them with you. With tailgating season practically upon us and the holiday season quickly on its heels, this is one of those recipes that you can go ahead and begin making one rainy day in preparation.
You see, while they are extraordinarily straight out of the oven, they are just as delicious pulled out of the freezer and reheated for a quick nibble. And, they are perfect to pack and take along with you for all sorts of occasions such as to a tailgating event, to a friend’s house for an afternoon snack or easy appetizer, or even just to take along with you for a late summer trip.
You can whip up these Cheddar and Bacon Puffs in less than 30 minutes and then watch them disappear even more quickly. Since they always seem to be a crowd-favorite, I highly recommend making two or three batches of these babies so that you have plenty to freeze for later.
I used Cracker Barrel® Aged Reserve Cheddar Cheese in these Cheddar and Bacon Puffs. I chose the Aged Reserve for its earthy, smooth cheddar flavor profile and… well… because it is my favorite.
The Aged Reserve Cheddar Cheese sharp, yet creamy flavor enhances the flavor of the smokey bacon and the spicy kick from the red pepper. It just makes it all work together perfectly.
I also love to use Cracker Barrel® Cheddar Cheese in these puffs because of its consistent high quality. I always know I can pick up a package of Cracker Barrel® Cheese and achieve the same results when I use it in recipes.
That is sort of a pet peeve of mine by the way.
I always want my recipes to taste like my recipes when I make them repeatedly.
I also like the fact that when I cook or bake with Cracker Barrel® Cheddar Cheese, I don’t have any of that oily and watery mess that you can get when you heat other cheeses. You know what I mean, don’t ya?
I always taste the difference in the end result.
Here’s my Cheddar and Bacon Puffs Recipe. Make ’em soon, stock pile a few dozen for super easy entertaining later. You’ll thank me. Promise.
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch ground red pepper
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Line baking sheet pans with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
- Bring water, butter, and salt to a rolling boil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring vigorously, add in all of the flour and cook until the dough begins to pull away from the edges of the saucepan. Remove dough from heat and transfer to bowl of a stand mixer and allow to cool for approximately two to three minutes. Alternately, you can leave in the saucepan and use a hand mixer, if desired. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating in completely after each addition. Stir in cheese, bacon pieces, black pepper, and red pepper, making sure all ingredients are well-combined.
- Scoop tablespoon pieces onto baking sheet. Using a damp finger or back of a spoon, press down any pieces of dough that are sticking up to prevent them from overbrowning. Bake 25-30 minutes, until puffs have turned a golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool completely, place in airtight container or zip top freezer bags and freeze up to three months.
Now for the fun part – BlogHer is giving Add a Pinch readers a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!
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To enter the sweepstakes, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me: What is your favorite cheesy summer dish?
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Cracker Barrel has a fun survey they’d love for you to participate in as well!
Love ya bunches!