Warm Cheese Box Bites

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Move over cheese straws!

Warm Cheese Box Bites
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
65 mins
Servings:
15

These cheesy bites aren't quite crackers, puffs, or straws. They are just as tasty though. This classic recipe has made the rounds in family recipe boxes and community cookbooks for decades. These bite-size morsels combine the comfort of warm cheese toast with the elegance of tiny cheese soufflés. They make a great snack or savory appetizer that doesn't require a plate.

Warm Cheese Box Bites are made of white bread cubes covered in a cheese mixture baked to crispy perfection. When folding the egg white mixture into the cheese, be sure to be as gentle as possible so your egg whites don't deflate. You can make these cheesy cubes ahead of time and even keep some stashed in the freezer to pull out as needed.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • teaspoon cream of tartar 

  • 5 (1½-oz.) thick-cut, firm white sandwich bread slices

Directions

  1. Stir together cheese, butter, mayonnaise, cornstarch, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt, mustard, and paprika in a large bowl until creamy and combined.

  2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (1 minute, 30 seconds, to 2 minutes). Gently fold egg white mixture into cheese mixture in 4 additions, being careful not to overmix to avoid deflating egg whites; mixture should remain light and airy. Refrigerate, uncovered, until ready to use.

  3. Trim crusts from bread slices. Cut slices in half crosswise; cut each half into thirds to make a total of 30 pieces.

  4. Spread cheese mixture evenly over tops and sides of bread pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Chill, uncovered, until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (To store in freezer, freeze on baking sheet until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then transfer to a heavy-duty ziplock plastic freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. Do not thaw before baking.)

  5. While bread pieces chill, preheat oven to 375°F. Bake chilled bread pieces until golden brown and slightly puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

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