Cuñapé

Cuñapés are one of my favorite bake goods.  These soft, chewy, cheesy rolls hail from Bolivia, and are made out of three key ingredients – yucca flour, cheese, and eggs.  If you are gluten intolerant this recipe is a home-run.  There is no gluten in it, but the starchy consistency of the cuñapé is oddly reminiscent of a bread roll.  Yucca flour or starch is the main substance of the cuñapé.  Yucca, better known to Americans as cassava, is a starchy root used in the production of tapioca.  Fortunately, now days, you can find tapioca starch in most grocery stores, but if you have a latin market in the area you might want to check in to see if they have any yucca flour.  Tapioca starch is slightly more refined then yucca flour, but in a pinch it will do the trick.  Your cuñapés will retain that amazing taste, but turn out slightly stumpy.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cup Yucca Flour (or tapioca starch)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2-3 tbsp Milk
  • 1 cup crumbled Cheese (In Bolivia they use an extremely salty white farmers cheese that is stretchy when melted.  It almost has the consistency of a mozzarella, but is a lot saltier.  The closest substitute I have been able to find around here is a generic Queso Fresco which is a traditional Mexican farm cheese, and the addition of salt to my cuñapé recipe.  In Bolivia, with the Queso Menonita, the additional salt is unnecessary)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (~218 C).
  2. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper or grease the baking sheets.
  3. Beat the eggs together.
  4. Pour the eggs into the yucca flour and salt, and stir together.
  5. Pour in the butter, and stir.
  6. If the batter is still too dry, add in a few tbsp of milk.  You do not want your cuñapés to be dry.
  7. Stir in the crumbled cheese.
  8. Now you have two different choices for forming them; 1) you can painstakingly hand roll each one into a 1″ ball or 2) you can use a spoon to scoop and drop the ugly suckers onto the baking sheets.
  9. Bake them for about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, you do not want to over bake and dry them out.
  10. Cuñapés are best when eaten warm and fresh.

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