Cuñapes are my favourite Bolivian snack. They are just sooooo good! When you bake them at home is hard not to eat them right away after your whole kitchen smells like delicious melted cheese. They are also special to me because they were the first thing I cooked based on my mom’s recipe. I was so happy when I realised how easy they are to make.
As you know from my about page, my passion for cooking comes from my mom. But she is just so good at cooking that at home I never dared to even try to cook in her kitchen. That was her kingdom ;). Funny thing though, now we kind of cook together virtually. In fact, she actually thought me how to cook in the last years via FaceTime & Whatsapp :).
I did this recipe for the first time few years ago in Germany. I can still remember my excitement when I found where to buy almidón de yuca (tapioca flour). Cuñapes are super easy to make, but first you need to find tapioca flour or tapioca starch close to you. It’s something you can’t find in a regular grocery store in Europe, but you can find it pretty much in any Asian food store or in any “Kuchnia Swiata” store (for the Polish readers).
So here it goes. I hope you like it and try to make them at home!
- 400 g tapioca flour
- 800 g grated cheese –> I use here a mix of mozzarella and gouda, but the original recipe contains a much saltier and fatter cheese typical from San Javier, Bolivia called “queso criollo”
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp butter
- Up to 1/2 cup of milk –> The amount of milk will also depend on the type of cheese you choose (you might need only a few spoons if the dough is already soft enough)
- 1tbsp baking powder
- Salt (if the cheese is not salty enough)
First, turn your oven on to 200 C° / 400 F.
Mix the flour, grated cheese, egg and butter together. Now, I always put everything on my mixer. It’s faster and less work. But you can totally mix this by hand. Just put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix it with your hands (yep, your own hands).
Add slowly the milk, but be careful not to make the dough too sticky and runny. You need to add a bit of milk, mix the dough again and check if more milk is needed. Mix all ingredients until you get a dough with uniform consistency.
Then start forming small balls with the dough and make a small hole in the bottom of the cuñapés. Like the picture below:
Put baking paper on your baking tray and place the cuñapés with enough space between each other. They will grow a lot in the oven so they will need that space.
Bake them on your preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. IMPORTANT: Keep the oven door closed until the cuñapés are done. If you open the oven, cold air will rush into the oven, dropping the temperature and making your cuñapés fall completely flat.
You will know they are done once they get a slight brown colour, like in the picture below:
And that’s it. These were so much fun to bake!
If you like the pictures of this recipe don’t forget to check photos by Kaja on Facebook.
Until next time :)!