This is another version of the Brazilian cheese balls or “pão de queijo”, and of course has an Asian twist since glutinous flour is added to the tapioca flour in order to give a softer and slightly chewy texture.
Since the combination of green onion or chives and bacon is so good in biscuits, I thought why not adding these into the original cheese balls…so this new version of pão de queijo was born.
These little treats are great because they can be made in advance and kept frozen until you are ready to serve. Just pop these at a preheated oven and they are ready in no time.
I have these (all kind of versions) in my freezer year around and some of our friends always request when they come to see us…and sometimes I have the feeling that they are visiting us so they can have some of these cheese balls.
I made 3 kinds, plain, bacon and chive with bacon…so it is up to you…but I must admit that after tasting the chives with bacon, the plain ones tasted pretty plain.
4 cups tapioca flour
1 cup glutinous flour
2/3 cup vegetable oil (sunflower, canola or corn)
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup parmesan cheese
12 oz munster cheese (can be substituted by parmesan cheese)
1 small bunch chive chopped finely and sauté in ½ tablespoon oil until golden and fragrant. I used the ones that I have grown in pots, you can do that too, please check Growing Green Onions.
1/3 cup of bacon, finely chopped and fried until crispy. Drain the fat and patch the bacon bits in paper towel to remove the excess of fat. I used the homemade Bacon Bits.
In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil. In the mixer bowl add all the flours and carefully add boiling water to the mixture. Mix gently until most of the liquid is absorbed by the flour mix.
Add one egg and some of the cheese, mix until the egg is incorporated to the dough, add another egg and more cheese. Repeat until all the egg and cheese are added to the dough.
At this point you can make the plain cheese balls by using two spoons, dip the spoons in the water before scooping the dough. Use one spoon to scoop and the other one to push the dough on cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. To the 2/3 remaining dough add the bacon, mix well and scoop making into small balls. To the half remaining dough add the chives, mix and add scoop into small balls. Leave 1 ½ inch of space between the balls. When scooping the dough there is no need to make them a perfect, once in the oven the little balls will puff up and trust me they all will be rounded.
Bake the cheese balls in a preheated oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.
To freeze the cheese balls…
Place the cheese balls in the freezer and let them freeze for approximately 3 hours or until totally frozen. Remove from the cookie sheet and store in an airtight container or freezer plastic bags.
When ready to bake, pop these cheese balls in a 350F preheated oven for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. For a crispy cheese balls, just increase the temperature to 400F for 5 more minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Did you know that pão de queijo in Brazil is a very popular for breakfast or as snack? As a matter of fact there is a very popular store called “Casa de Pão de Queijo” which translates into House of Cheese Bread, specializing with this cheese bread.