Sunday Special: Brazilian Cheese Puffs

.  Hey, hey!

How's everyone's long weekend going?  Isn't it the greatest feeling knowing you have an extra day?  Just one day makes all of the difference, huh?  Crazy how that works.

Robbie and I didn't really have any plans for the holiday weekend.  To be honest, I didn't even realize we had a three day weekend until Tuesday of this last week!  Shows how much I pay attention.  But we decided that we would spend the weekend tackling our front yard.  Our yard basically looks like no one even lives in our house, it's that bad.  Well, it WAS that bad.  We spent all of Saturday afternoon pulling out weeds, mowing the lawn, and getting the yard ready for some new flowers and plants.  We're heading out to the nursery today, as a matter of fact.  I'll be sure to throw some pictures in a post once we're done!

OH!  I guess I do have some [somewhat] exciting news!  Saturday night, the Creighton Baseball team played in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship and guesss whatttt?!  THEY WON!  Unfortunately Creighton had a bit of a rough regular season, but they obviously know how to finish it out!  They beat Southern Illinois and will find out on Monday what Regional they'll be heading to.

Remember how Robbie and I made the trip out to Oregon last year to see Creighton?  Well, you know we'll be heading out this year again!  Ad hoc trips are our specialty.  And I LOVE it.  More to come on that though.

Sadly to say I, again, have no story that ties in our Memorial Weekend to these Cheese Puffs.  Sorry guys.  I'll work on it.  But this is a Sunday Special, so only savories.  I guarantee once you make these ridiculous easy puffs though, you will tell me to take my sorry back.  Promise.

Have any of you ever been to Fogo de Chao?  It's a Brazilian restaurant and probably one of the most unique concepts I've seen in my extensively long life [wink, wink].  But really, it is.  And their food is so, so good.  They specialize in meats but also have one of the most outrageously delicious salads bars ever.  I always just get the salad bar, it's that good.  But easily our favorite part of this restaurant are the little cheese puffs they give to every table by the basket.  Completely dangerous, but well worth the calories.  

Anywho, these little suckers are the Fogo de Chao puffs reincarnated.  I can't even tell you the search I've been on for the puffs recipe ever since we first went to the restaurant.  So you can bet your bottom dollar that when Robbie and I took our first bite, we about died.  Just about.  And then Robbie proceeded to eat [literally] half of the batch.  I'll let you scroll down to see the 'yield' and your jaw may drop to the floor.  Sorry, Robbie

They are cheesy, soft, chewy things.  Pull them apart and you'll know what I mean, they have this awesome elasticity that I've never seen in another bread.  Gosh, they.  are.  amazing.  Truly.  The key to the puffs is the use of tapioca flour, which is available in most grocery stores so do not get deterred by this small detail!  I'll admit, it made me hesitant but if I can find tapioca flour at a regular ol' grocery store in Omaha...you can, too.  So go get it!  .

My Notes:
  • I used an equal mix of Parmesan and Aged Asiago cheese for my puffs and Robbie and I loved it.  I would be interested to use other combinations but I'm not exactly sure what cheeses go together.  Any suggestions?!

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. milk
3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. tapioca flour or gluten-free tapioca starch
2 tsp. minced garlic
2/3 c. scant, grated Parmesan, Romano, or Aged Asiago cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.  Lightly grease two mini muffin pans.  Place butter, water, milk, and salt in a saucepan, over medium-high heat and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture has come to a full boil.  While the mixture is heating, put tapioca flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Once boiling, pour the butter mixture over the tapioca flour, beating at high speed to combine and until the mixture becomes smooth and elastic-looking (this will happen very quickly).  Beat the garlic and cheese into the dough until well combined.
  3. If the mixture is uncomfortably hot, let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool (you don’t want to cook the eggs when you beat them in).  If it seems hot but not burning hot, with the mixer going, gradually dribble in the beaten eggs, beating until well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour mixture almost to the rim of the muffin cups.  Bake 20 minutes or until the puffs have a freckled appearance and they’re beginning to color.  Remove from oven and serve hot.
Yield: 2 dozen puffs

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  1. These look so tasty...adding them to my list - I think my kiddos (just 5 and almost 4) will love them too. Thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Ooo, these would be a great kiddie treat! They're small, so perfect for their little hands :) Let me know if you try these out, I'd love to hear!

  2. Oh yummo!
    I've been to Brazil a few times and these were the bomb.
    I brought back a recipe but it calls for manioc starch, which I could never find. Definitely pinning this recipe!

    1. Yeah, tapioca starch scared me a bit but I've found that it's in a lot of grocery stores. Thanks for the pin!!

  3. I will be pinning this yummy looking recipe so I can make it soon. I'd be thrilled if you shared it over at my link party, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday
    Hope to see you there

  4. These sound amazing! Can't wait to try them - pinned!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, I'd love to hear if you try these out!!

  5. Jess, These look and sound amazing! Pinning these :) Can't wait to try them. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week. Have a great weekend.


  6. Search “pão de queijo,” rather than “Brazilian cheese puffs,” because you’ll get much better information. If you live in a city that has a substantial Brazilian population, you can find frozen pão de queijo in some import stores.

    Also: cassava, manioc (mandioca in Brazil), yucca and tapioca are all the same/derived from the same root. So manioc starch is the same as tapioca starch.

    If anyone else is curious to try the type of restaurant described above, it is called a "churrascaria" (shoo-hah-sca-ria), and it is a very common type of Brazilian steakhouse/barbecue restaurant. You'll find one in any larger city.


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