Stuffed Corn Bubbles

Stuffed Corn Bubbles

When you do a search for Super Bowl snacks, you’re inevitably greeted with photos of cheese plates arranged to look like football stadiums, and cute little cupcakes topped with green grass frosting and tiny field goal posts. There’s certainly nothing wrong with these if you have the time for them, but I can’t say I know anyone who does! When I’m planning Super Bowl snacks, I’m thinking easy, throw-in-the-oven food that doesn’t require days of prep work ahead of time. Stuffed Corn Bubbles have everything you could want in a party appetizer, or even an after-school snack for the kids. The active cooking time is only about thirty minutes, the recipe makes a ton, and they reheat well.  They have a slightly crisp outside, a fluffy yet doughy inside, and can be filled with anything you desire – in my case, buffalo chicken dip.

This is another recipe that I’ve had forever – the original came from Fleischmann’s Yeast, although I discovered it on Recipe Link. My version is quite different, as I’ve added a lot more flavor to the dough itself. Onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and chili powder flavor the dough, and combined with their outstanding texture, these go way beyond typical stuffed-dough recipes.

They’re named Corn Bubbles because the dough uses both flour and corn meal. This combination gives them the outstanding texture. They’re heartier than a regular dinner roll without being heavy, chewy without being tough. Filled with anything you can dream up, and brushed with melted butter, these are satisfying bites of pure comfort and happiness.

Stuffed Corn Bubbles seem like they take a long time to make, but that’s only because of the yeast in the dough. There’s about an hour total of resting time. If you’re not in a hurry, I think resting time for a dough is actually wonderful, because it means you’re multi-tasking without even trying.  Plus that whole developing flavor thing. Completely passive parts of cooking still count as getting something done, right? I did use rapid rise yeast for this recipe though, because no one wants to wait longer than a couple hours for these to be ready.

Filling these with buffalo chicken dip is an excellent choice, but I’d also recommend barbecue pulled pork, or some variation of a beefy queso dip, with plenty of beef to keep it from being too drippy. Just make sure to pinch the seams really well when you’re stuffing them, or the filling will ooze out the bottom, into your pan. The dough is wonderfully stretchy after kneading, so filling your corn bubbles is an easier process than it might sound. I use a kitchen scale to weigh the bubbles as I fill them, to make sure each corn bubble gets exactly 16g so they don’t get too full. This helps them all stay uniform, which means they’ll bake evenly.

If you give these a try, let me know what you filled them with! I’m always looking for new ideas for a recipe this versatile.

Need more ideas for Super Bowl snacks? Check out my Loaded Baked Potato Tots!




Stuffed Corn Bubbles

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 32 bubbles

Ingredients

Corn Bubbles

  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 packages Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsps salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup Frank's hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb cooked, shredded chicken

Instructions

  1. Set aside 1 cup flour. In large bowl, mix remaining flour, cornmeal, undissolved yeast, sugar, salt, and seasonings; set aside.

    2. Heat milk, water and butter until hot to touch (125 to 130 degrees F); stir into dry mixture. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.

    3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover (I just turn the bowl upside-down over the dough). Let rest 10 minutes.

    4. Divide dough into 32 equal pieces. With palms of hands, flatten to 3-inch circles. Place a tablespoon (about 16g) of your filling in the center of each circle. Pull up edges and pinch to enclose filling. Place balls in 2 greased 10x10-inch dishes. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

    5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 -20 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.


Loaded Baked Potato Tots

Loaded Baked Potato Tots

I was at The Cheesecake Factory with some family recently, and we were deciding on appetizers. We ended up ordering their loaded baked potato tots… and I ended up completely rethinking tater tots. I don’t typically order or cook tater tots, as I find the flavor and texture less appealing than that of french fries. Why even bother with tots when fries are so readily available? Those tots were a completely different experience. They were the complete opposite of the lumpy, bland tater tots I was expecting. Smooth and creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, with a delicious loaded baked potato flavor, I had to figure out how to make them myself.

I came home from dinner and immediately started researching loaded baked potato tot recipes. I found a lot of versions that were really just cheese-y tater tots, and some leftover-mashed-potato tots, but none of them looked right. Finally, my search led me to a Cheesecake Factory copycat recipe.

I tinkered with the ingredients and quantities a bit, adding smoked paprika, salt, and cream cheese to achieve the flavor I was looking for. I honestly think what I ended up with is better than the Cheesecake Factory version. They have all the cheese-y, bacon, scallion flavor of a loaded baked potato, with the texture of a perfect mashed potato, all encapsulated in a crispy little bite. All they need is a side of sour cream for dipping.

These tots can be customized to your taste, or to the ingredients you have on hand. You can omit the bacon, use onion powder in place of the scallions, or add a dash of cayenne powder or Tabasco to give them some heat. I can’t wait to play around with more flavor combinations for these babies.

I’m testing this weekend whether these loaded baked potato tots can be frozen and reheated in the oven, and will update this post soon with the answer! I’m hoping they’ll be that wonderful kind of appetizer that can be made ahead of time for parties, or just to have on hand. And speaking of parties, these are perfect Super Bowl Party food. Whether you’re a fan of the Falcons, the Patriots, or the commercials, you will be a fan of these for sure.

Loaded Baked Potato Tots

Servings 50 tots

Ingredients

Loaded Baked Potato Tots

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes 415g
  • 1 cup medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 60g
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese 60g
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp chopped bacon crumbles
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • milk

Instructions

  1. Step 1: Make mashed potatoes: peel 6 russet potatoes. Slice into quarters and boil for 15-20 minutes. When potatoes are soft all the way through, pour into a colander to drain. Put potatoes through a ricer, or hand-mash them until smooth. Some small chunks are fine. 

    Step 2: Stir together mashed potatoes, sour cream, and cream cheese. Add milk, shredded cheddar, bacon, green onion, paprika, and salt and stir until well combined. 

    Step 3: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. With your hands, shape the potato mixture into small, tater-top shaped clumps, and set on the baking sheet. When the sheet is full, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes. If you find that the potato mixture is too soft for you to work with, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (up to a few hours). 

    Step 5: Remove formed tots from the freezer. Crack two eggs into a dish -  I just used cereal bowls - and beat until combined. Pour breadcrumbs into a second dish. Dip each tot in the egg, and then into the breadcrumbs until well-coated. 

    Step 4: Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan, about an inch and a half deep. Get it to 350 degrees and start adding your breaded tots, a few at a time. Be careful to keep an eye on the temperature, so that the oil doesn't get too hot - I used an instant-read thermometer to check mine. 

    Step 7: When the tots are getting golden brown, remove from oil and place onto a plate (lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil). Be gentle when handling these, because the insides are very soft, and you will squish them if you're not careful.

    Step 8: In a small bowl, mix together the 2 Tbsps of milk and the 1/2 cup of sour cream. Dip your tots and enjoy! 


Vegan Cashew Cream Spinach Dip

Vegan Cashew Cream Spinach Dip

Reading the title of this post, I can only assume you’re thinking that while a vegan spinach dip will surely be healthier than a regular version, it can’t possibly be as delicious. It’s not an exact dup for the spinach dip you’re used to, but it’s pretty close. And it is beyond delicious, in a “maybe one more bite…just one more… and one more…” sort of way. The base is made of cashew cream, which is a wonderful surprise the first time you experience it – it’s a bit sweeter than your typical creamy dip bases, so it needs to be flavored differently, but the texture isn’t gritty like you might expect. As long as you give it enough time in your food processor, (or beloved NutriBullet), it gives you a perfect, smooth starting point for your spinach dip. Bonus: cashew cream is crazy easy to whip up, and doesn’t require any unusual ingredients – just cashews, water, lemon juice, and salt.

Read More