Cheesy Garlic Popovers

Making popovers is a tradition for me every Thanksgiving. The last 5 years I have made popovers and have been trying to find a good recipe for cheesy popovers because, well, I really like cheese.  I haven’t really found a recipe that I like that includes cheese…the popovers often come out too dense or don’t have enough flavor. So this year I decided to combine two different popover recipes I came across on Pinterest recently – the first is for traditional popovers and the second is for cheesy popover poppers.

First, I made the batter exactly as outlined in the first recipe with the exception of using 1% milk instead of whole or 2% as the recipe calls for since 1% is what we keep in the house. Next, I added 2 tbsp of minced garlic because my family is Italian and we love garlic in everything.

Then, I moved on to the second recipe to see how they suggested incorporating cheese into the batter. I thought it would be something more complex than simply adding the cheese to the batter – maybe waiting until the last 5 minutes to add the cheese or getting all the batter in the cups first and topping them with cheese and getting them in the oven before the cheese had time to sink to the bottom. Nope – simply add it to the batter.

For the cheese I used a 1/2 cup of sharp white cheddar – I bought a block and shredded it myself but I’m sure you could use the pre-shredded if you prefer. I also used a 1/4 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese which I also grated myself. I blended both of the cheeses into the batter.

The last step was getting the batter into the pan. To prepare the pan I went back to the first recipe and followed the instructions that advise splitting 2 tbsp of melted butter between all of the cups. Then, using my 1/4 cup measuring cup, I evenly dispersed the batter into 12 cups.

I followed the baking instructions listed in the first recipe and 30 minutes later I had a batch of cheese-laden popovers! I added some more of the cheddar and parmesan on top as garnish right when the popovers came out of the oven.

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Now, I love anything with cheese and have been devoted to the cause of finding the perfect cheesy popover but sadly, I think I may need to give up the search. Adding the cheese just makes the popovers too dense…more like a muffin than a popover and I don’t know if I am willing to give up the light airiness of the traditional popover just to get a little more cheese in my diet (which I really don’t need).

This year definitely came out more like the popover poppers shown in the second recipe. Next year I’m going to make some changes. Firstly, I am going to follow the first recipe exactly (with the added garlic.) The garlic flavor was actually spot on this time around so that was an accomplishment. I would use the same amount of cheese next time BUT I would wait until the popovers are completely done baking and add all of the cheese on top rather than inserting the cheese into the batter. I hope by doing this I’ll still get the popover texture we all know and love but be able to enjoy cheesy deliciousness as well…maybe if you are all lucky I will try this out for Christmas instead of waiting until next Thanksgiving!

I would also skip baking the popovers in butter in the cups and go back to my traditional method of just coating the cups in cooking spray. I thought the butter made the rolls too greasy and it made them look a little burnt on the outside. This of course caused me to panic when I removed them from the pan but upon eating I was happy to discover it was just the butter that made them look burnt and there was no burnt flavor at all.

Overall, these recipes were OK. I think the first recipe would have been successful if I didn’t tweak it. The finished product tasted good but I wasn’t happy with the texture. Live and learn.

What about you? Do you have a side you always serve (successfully or not) on your holiday table? Let me know in the comments!

Happy pinning!

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

OK everyone, its been a few weeks but I’m back – and just in time for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season! I love to cook and bake and can’t wait for the day that I get to create my own, complete Thanksgiving feast…my parents still prepare the entirety of our Thanksgiving table. However, I like to contribute and usually do so with a creative side or a new dessert. This year is no different and one of the desserts I decided to try this year is this peanut butter fudge pie.

One of the reasons that I chose this pie is that my younger brother loves anything chocolate and peanut butter and since he was going to be home from college for the holiday I thought I would make him something special. Another reason? It just looked delicious and was outside the traditional pumpkin, apple, pecan pie line-up that is common for Thanksgiving. I also am not a huge traditional pie lover and this seemed closer to an ice cream or frozen dessert since it is served chilled which I do like.

The recipe is fairly easy to follow and prepare. It only took me about 25 minutes from start to finish. I didn’t make any tweaks to the recipe but I did tweak the final step. I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the frozen whipped topping left over to cover the whole top of the pie so instead  I put what I had left in a piping bag and made a design on top. Also, rather than putting the remaining hot fudge and peanut butter in the piping bags and decorating each slice individually (who has time for this when they are entertaining?), I melted the remaining peanut butter in the microwave (on high for 25 seconds at a time, stirring in between until liquid) and drizzled the peanut butter over the entire top of the pie. I didn’t use the remaining hot fudge because I really wanted the pie to be about the peanut butter and the top layer of fudge seemed really thick.

Finished pie

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This pie was definitely a huge hit with my family. Since I chose to freeze my pie overnight before serving it was very similar to the frozen Reese’s ice cream cakes they sell in the super market. The peanut butter flavor is very strong and the cream cheese is a nice complement.

Pie Slice

Next time I think I would make a few changes. I would definitely use fresh, homemade whipped cream. I always make whipped cream from scratch but since this was my first time trying this recipe I wanted to stick to the instructions. I don’t see any reason why fresh whipped cream couldn’t be used – it seemed like the frozen whipped topping was only recommended for convenience.

Also, I would maybe coat the pie crust with some of the hot fudge next time both to use all of the hot fudge and to ensure the pie crust stays fresh if made in advance. I only made the pie a day in advance and froze it over night so my crust was fine but I think this could be an option if you need to make it at least a few days in advance.

Do you have an out of the box pie recipe that you like to use during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy pinning!