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Break out the blender for easy, chewy cheese bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

40 minutes

These tasty puffs—called pão de queijo—are similar to popovers, with two important differences. Tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) gives them a unique chewiness, while a generous dose of cheese makes them particularly savory. In Brazil, the cheese of choice is queijo minas curado. Without that option available to us, we found that Asiago had just the right balance of salty-sharp flavor to make delicious puffs. The flavor profile can easily be changed by using other cheeses and seasonings (see variations below). Pão de queijo are best eaten within a couple hours of baking, but the puffs can be frozen and reheated in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes (do not thaw before reheating). You will need a nonstick 24-cup mini muffin pan for this recipe.

For Gruyère and chives: Substitute an equal amount of finely grated Gruyère cheese for the Asiago. After blending, stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives.

For Stilton and black pepper: Substitute an equal amount of finely grated Stilton cheese (or other firm blue cheese) for the Asiago and add ½ teaspoon ground black pepper to the blender along with other ingredients.

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