Crack Cheese Puffs

Crack Cheese Puffs Recipe –  Light as air and incredibly snackable, these savory bites are a must for any gathering. Loaded with sharp cheddar and smoky bacon, their secret weapon is a zesty ranch dressing mix that adds an extra kick of flavor. Perfect for parties or as a side to a comforting bowl of soup.

plate of cheese puffs with text overlay

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Easy Gougeres with Cheddar, Bacon & Ranch

These Crack Cheese Puffs are the ultimate crowd-pleaser for your cocktail party! Sometimes called “gougeres,” they have an incredibly light and airy texture and are irresistibly snackable. Think of them as savory cousins to the classic cream puffs or eclairs. These bite-sized delights are crafted from pate a choux dough and generously loaded with scrumptious cheese, bacon, and ranch seasoning. This classic French pastry doesn’t just elevate your appetizer game; it’s also the perfect addition to your holiday gatherings.

What does CRACK mean?

If a recipe has “crack” in the title it means that the recipe has cheddar, bacon, and ranch in the ingredients. It all started with my Crack Dip way back in 2007. I made the dip for a Titans football game. Everyone went crazy over it. We couldn’t stop eating it and said it was like crack. The name stuck. 

According to the dictionary, the definition of crack is “of superior excellence or ability”. We think the flavor combination of cheddar, bacon, and ranch fits this definition! This recipe is most definitely of superior excellence!

baking sheet of bacon & cheese puffs

How to Make Cheddar Cheese Puffs

This appetizer is effortless to make with only a few simple ingredients. In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and stir in all-purpose flour and ranch dressing mix. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 5 or 10 minutes.

Add eggs to the flour mixture and mix well with an electric hand mixer on medium speed. Stir in grated sharp cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.

Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in a preheated oven until puffed and golden brown. Brush the puffs with melted butter and sprinkle the puffs with parsley, if desired.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you don’t have a mixer, you can beat the eggs into the dough by hand with a wooden spoon.
  • Here is our recipe for Ranch Dressing Mix made with buttermilk powder, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, chives, dill, salt, and black pepper: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-ranch-dressing-mix/
    • Using homemade ranch seasoning or dressing will reduce the sodium in the dish.
    • If you are sensitive to ranch seasoning, adjust the amount to your personal preference.
  • Use a small cookie scoop that is equal to a tablespoon to make the puffs.
  • Add a dash of cayenne pepper to give the puffs a little kick.
  • Can I freeze Cheese Puffs? Yes! Cool the puffs to room temperature and transfer to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
    • Reheat the puffs in a 175ºF oven for a few minutes before serving.
  • Store leftover puffs in an airtight container at room temperature.
plate of cheese puffs

What to Serve with Crack Cheese Puffs

These puffs are a party favorite. These things fly off the plate! To round out the party spread, consider a platter of fresh, colorful vegetables like crisp cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper strips, served with a zesty veggie dip for a refreshing contrast. For those who prefer a heartier option, consider a charcuterie board with an array of cured meats, olives, cheeses, and a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail.

These puffs are equally delicious served as a side dish to your favorite entrees. For a cozy and comforting dinner, consider serving them alongside a hearty bowl of soup or chili. If you’re aiming for a more elegant affair, perhaps a filet mignon or a pork tenderloin will be the perfect match. For a lighter option, grilled chicken with a fresh salad and vinaigrette is a delightful combination. No matter how you serve these cheese puffs, they are guaranteed to be a hit!

Looking for more party food? Here are some popular recipes from the website:

plate of cheese puffs with text overlay

Crack Cheese Puffs

Yield: 4 dozen
Crack Cheese Puffs Recipe –  Light as air and incredibly snackable, these savory bites are a must for any gathering. Loaded with sharp cheddar and smoky bacon, their secret weapon is a zesty ranch dressing mix that adds an extra kick of flavor. Perfect for parties or as a side to a comforting bowl of soup.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and stir in all-purpose flour and ranch dressing mix. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Add eggs to the flour mixture and mix well with an electric hand mixer on medium speed. Stir in grated sharp cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
  • Brush the puffs with melted butter and sprinkle the puffs with parsley, if desired.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have a mixer, you can beat the eggs into the dough by hand with a wooden spoon.
  • Here is our recipe for Ranch Dressing Mix made with buttermilk powder, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, chives, dill, salt, and black pepper: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-ranch-dressing-mix/ 
    • Using homemade ranch seasoning or dressing will reduce the sodium in the dish.
    • If you are sensitive to ranch seasoning, adjust the amount to your personal preference.
  • Use a small cookie scoop that is equal to a tablespoon to make the puffs.
  • Add a dash of cayenne pepper to give the puffs a little kick.
  • Can I freeze Cheese Puffs? Yes! Cool the puffs to room temperature and transfer to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months. 
    • Reheat the puffs in a 175ºF oven for a few minutes before serving.
  • Store leftover puffs in an airtight container at room temperature.

Steph

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plate of cheese puffs with text overlay

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Comments

    1. What a great idea! But unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

    2. Some kitchen science: these puffs rely on the wheat flour gluten structure being developed through mixing and beating. The gluten structure with eggs trap the steam to make the puffs rise. Almond flour is gluten free so cannot produce the structure needed and the almond flour is inherently high fat and produces gummy texture in some baked products. So, no the cheese puffs won’t work with almond flour.

  1. Amazing recipe! We had ours with filet and baked potatoes for our anniversary dinner tonight! Sooooo good! Thanks for sharing!

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