pão de queijo aka cheese puffs aka cheesy poufs
Thanks, Try the World, for opening my eyes to this delicious Brazilian snack. They are gluten-free and swimming in butter. Billy calls these “cheesy poufs”, which is a name that I hate but has stuck.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese (any semi-hard cheese would work)
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Heat the milk, butter, and salt on the stove over medium heat until the butter melts and the whole thing starts to simmer.
- Take the milk off of the heat and stir in the tapioca flour with a spoon or spatula (a whisk will clog almost immediately!). It should mostly gather up into a ball around your spoon once all the tapioca is in there. [Note: Don’t do this in a mixer: you need the temperature to be high enough for the tapioca to thicken, and the warm pot keeps it up to temperature.]
- Mix in the egg and the cheese. This will seem impossible if you’re doing it by hand. Just keep stirring! It’ll be a big coherent sticky blob at the end.
- Get out your baking sheet (or layer two, if you’re worried about the bottoms burning),
- and line with parchment paper, or spray a muffin tin with oil. (OR: if you want to freeze the dough, just coat a baking sheet or plate with nonstick spray)
- Drop the dough in roughly 2 tablespoon blobs onto the baking sheet using two spoons, your dough scoop of choice, or your hands (wetting your hands helps with the sticking). They won’t spread much.
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes, depending on your browning preferences. (OR: freeze the dough now. Once frozen, you can pry the blobs off of the baking sheet/plate and store them in a freezer bag. Bake straight from frozen as above, but they may need a few extra minutes to brown to the same degree)
- Eat warm!