Sweet Cooking

It’s a Cheese Wafer-Puff.

In Savory Baked Goods on March 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

In 1997, my mom gave me a cookbook called “A Cookbook for my Southern Daughter.” Reading it is like stepping back in  time. Some of the recipes use a whole can of shortening, one of the recipes is called “mawmaw’s fried squash”, and there are lots of entries by women named Gladys, Bertha and Jenille. I have never seen a collection of recipes using so much shortening, karo, mayonnaise and butter! Nevertheless, it is full of traditional southern recipes that people all over the South grew up on.

I am having some friends over to watch the last round of The Masters in a few weeks (it doesn’t get more southern than that!). I will be serving light hors d’oeuvres with a southern flair. So, I decided to make some type of cheese straw. I researched a lot of recipes, and finally decided on “Grandmother’s Cheese Wafers” from the aforementioned southern daughter cookbook. Making anything out of this book is like cooking in the dark. There are no photos, the list of ingredients and instructions aren’t very descriptive, and you have no idea how much food you’ll end up with. So here is my adapted recipe:

Grandmother’s Cheese Wafers – My Version

1/2 lb. freshly grated extra sharp NY cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if desired)

1 stick butter at room temp

1 1/2 cups cornflakes slightly crushed

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and cheese with a hand-held mixer. Add all other ingredients and mix with hands (really get in there). Shape into balls using a cookie dough scoop (or you may use your hands). Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 20 minutes. Yields 27 wafer/puffs.

Now….I tried two different baking methods. As the original recipe instructs, I pressed the first batch with a fork and flattened them into a wafer. I was short on time for the second batch, and decided to skip the flattening step. I just popped the little cheese balls right in the oven. I actually like the way these turned out better! They are like little puffs and seem light and airy. The wafers seem hard and crisp. I’ll put them both out at the party and see what guests like the most!

Here are the ingredients.

Flattened wafers ready to go in the oven.

Wafer vs. Puff

  1. My mom gave me the same cookbook and you are absolutely right about it- the instructions are very haphazard. Its more like cooking suggestions. I don’t think I’ve ever made a thing from it. Larkin does volunteer legal work and received a compilation cookbook from the Alabama Volunteer Lawyer’s Association that has every traditional Southern recipe you can think of in it. Imagine, hundreds of judges and lawyers from around the state gave away their mother’s or wive’s best recipes! Everything I’ve every made from it is excellent. For Leila’s school festival I made a no bake cookie from it that Larkin said reminded him of one y’all used to have. It is oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate, butter, vanilla and I wanted to add coconut but decided the kids would rather I didn’t. They were super easy and freeze really well. I’ll make them for you next time you visit!

    • Please do! I’ll be in town in April. Flying out of b’ham so I can see all of you! Good luck with the half marathon.

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