Old-fashioned Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs on Plate

When I think of Cheese Puffs, I think of a cheesy snack that’s in the snack aisle at the supermarket, so I was surprised to see a hundred-year-old recipe for cheese puffs. These Cheese Puffs are a delightful cheesy tidbit that can be eaten as a snack or a part of a meal.

The old recipe recommends serving the Cheese Puffs with a salad, which is what I did. Cheese Puffs and a salad are just right for a light lunch.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Cheese Puffs
Source: Mrs. Scott’s Seasonal Cook Books (The North American Newspaper, Philadelphia, Winter, 1921)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cheese Puffs

  • Servings: approximately 12 Cheese Puffs
  • Difficulty: easy
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2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

dash pepper

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese.) + additional grated cheese to garnish

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put butter and water in a large sauce pan; bring to a boil. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour. Remove from heat, and add 1/4 cup grated cheese and egg; stir until thoroughly mixed.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with addiitonal grated cheese. Put in oven and bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. If desired, serve with a salad.


Old-fashioned Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwich on Plate

I often make toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch (actually I make grilled cheese sandwiches, but I call them toasted cheese sandwiches), so I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.

The old recipe called for toasting the sandwiches in the oven (or over a coal fire!). It also called for making a cheese filling that contained grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika – rather than just using slices of cheese.

The sandwiches turned out well. The Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches were crisp and toasty, and nice and gooey in the middle. The cheese filling had just a hint of the spices.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
Source: Mrs. Scott’s Seasonal Cook Books (The North American Newspaper, Philadelphia, Winter, 1921)

The recommended way of softening the grated cheese by putting it in a bowl that is then placed over another pan containing hot water seemed very old-fashioned, but I followed the directions and it worked well. The cheese softened quickly so that the spices could be easily stirred into the cheese, and it was very spreadable.

Since I know that cheese contains a lot of salt, I skipped adding salt when I made this recipe. Also, I used a level teaspoon of dry mustard instead of a rounded one that was called for in the recipe.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

  • Servings: 3 Sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese. American would also work well.)

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon paprika

6 slices bread


Put grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika into a bowl; stir to mix. Put the bowl in a shallow pan of hot water for 2-3 minutes (or put in the microwave for a few seconds). Once the cheese has begun to soften, stir again to get the spices evenly spread throughout the mixture.

In the meantime, butter the bread on one side. Place three slices on a baking sheet with the buttered side down. Spread the slices with the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices. The buttered side should be up.

Put under the broiler in the oven, and toast until the bread is lightly browned. Flip the sandwiches and return to broiler. Toast until the second side is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.


Olive Rarebit

Olive Rarebit on Toast

Welsh Rarebit over toast is one of my comfort foods, so I was intrigued when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Olive Rarebit. This recipe is nice variation on the classic. It contains chopped olives embedded in a savory cheese sauce.

Here’s the original recipe:

Olive Rarebit Recipe
Source: American Cookery (January,1920)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Olive Rarebit

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup milk, water, or apple cider – If desired, olive brine from the jar may be substituted for part of the liquid  (I used milk – and no olive brine.)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash paprika

6 olives, coarsely chopped (I used pimento stuffed green olives.)

Put butter in a saucepan; melt using medium-low heat. Stir in the cheddar cheese; continue stirring until the cheese is partially melted. Then add the milk and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. While continuing to stir, add the egg, mustard, salt, and paprika. Heat until hot, then stir in olives. Remove from heat. Serve over toast, English muffins, or other bread.


Old Tomato Rarebit Recipe

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, July 17, 1911: It rained real hard this morning. I don’t know whether that kept me from doing anything of any account or something else—any way it isn’t here to read.Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t have much to say a hundred years ago today, I flipped through the July 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. It contained a recipe for Tomato Rarebit.  A rarebit is a cheese sauce that is served over toast or other similar foods.  I like Welsh Rarebit so thought that I’d give this recipe a try.

Tomato Rarebit

Cook one tablespoon chopped onion in one tablespoon butter five minutes. Add one cup tomatoes, cook two minutes, and strain. In a saucepan, or the blazer of the chafing dish, melt two tablespoons butter, add two tablespoons flour, and three-fourths of a cup of thin cream. Cook until thickened, then add two cups cheese cut in dice or thinly shaved, the tomato, and one-half teaspoon each mustard and salt, and one-fourth teaspoon paprika. Stir until cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Serve on toast or heated crackers.

The Tomato Rarebit had a zestier taste than Welsh Rarebit, and was excellent.  The recipe is a keeper.