Our local Panera is the source of one our favorite breakfast foods. We LOVE their breakfast souffles. Admittedly, these tasty little concoctions aren’t particularly healthy, but they’re a real treat around here. They’re also expensive, so a few weeks ago my son Michael and I decided to create our own knock-off recipe for these, called SOOFLES. (There may well be knockoff recipes for Panera souffles out there, but we didn’t even look for them.) (And the name Soofles comes from the way that the boys THOUGHT the word Souffle was pronounced when they were little bitty guys.)
Our first attempt involved the biscuits in those cans that pop open. That didn’t work out so well. For our second attempt, we switched to puff pastry and it worked better.
Our second attempt at Soofles weren’t quite perfect because the bottoms of the little soofles were soggy and doughy.
Our third attempt was a charm though. We put pieces of puff pasty into the muffin cups and baked them for about five minutes at 400 degrees. This was just long enough to thoroughly puff the pastry but NOT brown it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Miniature Egg-Cheese-Bacon Souffles
Start by browning a pound of bacon. Cut or break it into small pieces and set aside.
Spray nonstick spray in the muffin cups of two regular-sized muffin pans (for a total of 24 mini-soofles.)
Then stir together the following:
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2/3 c. half and half or whole milk
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. grated swiss cheese
- 1 c. grated sharp cheese
- 1 c. grated asiago cheese
- one 10-ounce package of spinach, thoroughly drained
After the muffin pans of par-baked puff pastry comes out of the oven, add about 2-3 T. of the egg and cheese mixture to each muffin cup. Top each cup with some a couple of pieces of bacon and pop them all back into the oven to bake the rest of the way. We baked them until the egg was cooked and I think that was about ten minutes.
I’m sure these would work out just fine with 3 c. of shredded cheddar…or any single type of cheese. The variety adds dimension to the flavors. Okay, I also will confess that we had a small gorgonzola-soofle accident tonight that resulted in simply astonishing flavors. Basically, go for the cheeses that your family will eat.
Two sheets of puff pastry made 24 little soofles. If you have pans that bake giant muffins, those would work very well and actually resemble the Panera originals more closely. If you use mini-muffin pans, they would be delicious little appetizers.
Admittedly, these are not health food. Can’t come up with a compelling argument for how they COULD be healthy. But they ARE delicious and really quite easy.
I want to give a nod to our dear friends, the Braswells, who provided us with some wonderful Eggland’s Best Eggs for these little souffles. Eggland’s Best are my favorite eggs and I’m delighted to give a round of applause for their quality.
It’s easy enough to make these vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, of course.