No matter how dry the Turkey is, no matter how stressful the family, your holiday will be just fine with a Cheese Puff in one hand and a cold drink in the other.
This year, I am hosting Thanksgiving. And after the free range Turkey and the stuffing that only comes out right with my mom’s meat grinder grinding the vegetables, these Cheese Puffs were at the top of my must make list. This is actually a family recipe handed down from what I imagine are the 1950’s cocktail parties my grandparents threw in the tony suburbs of Chicago. They were a staple at every holiday I can remember. As a mom, I appreciate that they are totally make ahead. You can cook them and freeze them and pop them in the oven when needed. Make extra because they will fly. (My cousin actually made them for her daughter’s wedding. It was crazy to bite into one and taste my childhood holidays, the food memory was that strong.)
The secret to them is to use Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread. You may have to go to more than one store to find it, but it is worth it. I stock up with loaves in my freezer. Then you assemble a very short, but very flavorful list of ingredients.
(to print recipe click here.)
Start my making the little toast beds. Work with one section of the loaf at a time, trimming the crusts off and cutting into 4 squares (cut down the middle both ways).
When they are loads of little squares of bread, coat with melted butter and toast at 400 for 7-8 minutes (watch carefully they will burn!) Or you can try my cousins way – dip each square into melted butter, then place butter side down on cookie sheet. Cook at 250 for almost 30 minutes. This way is longer but you don’t risk burning, they will be perfect.
Then, mix 2 bricks of cream cheese, a grated small onion (about 8 T.) and 2 dashes of Worchestershire and 2 egg yolks in a bowl.
Once it is creamy, take a knife and put about 1 teaspoon on each piece of toasted bread. (My cousin let me know that the way my grandmother made these is to use the spreading knife to make a pyramid with the cheese by spreading it up on three sides. I didn’t know that since my mom never did that, she just spread it, but I will try it next time.) If freezing, place on cookie tray in freezer and when frozen, place into zip lock bag. To bake, place on cookie sheet, then cook at 350 for 10-15 min. watching carefully for doneness.
Happy Thanksgiving!! With these, it will be.