I've professed my love for pimento cheese many times on here, so it's no surprise that I have yet another way to take your pimento cheese game up a notch. Even better - these warm bacon pimento cheese cups are perfect for Labor Day cookouts and tailgating in the fall.

To make them you take your standard, delicious phyllo shells (found in the freezer section), and fill them with a smoked cheddar bacon pimento cheese and top each with a few more fresh bacon bits. Smoked sharp cheddar pairs really well with the bacon, but you can also make it your standard way with just regular sharp cheddar. Sometimes I use pepperjack for a little kick. The key is to find two cheeses that complement each other. Melted cheese, mayo, pimentos and bacon is probably going to taste good regardless as long as you don't go with something too crazy cheese-wise.

The number of phyllo shells that come in a pack varies by the brand, and different grocery stores carry different brands. If you're serving these for a crowd you can absolutely buy more than 48. These go QUICKLY! The recipe will probably yield enough for 60 mini cups, since only about a tablespoon goes in each cup. I usually buy Cracker Barrel cheese, which comes in 8oz packages, so most of the time I go ahead and shred the whole 16oz of cheese (upping the other ingredients as well) and then serve the rest of the pimento cheese with crackers. There are worse things than having extra pimento cheese around the house..

Enjoy, and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Bacon Pimento Cheese Phyllo Cups

4 oz sharp white cheddar, freshly grated
4 oz smoked sharp cheddar or sharp yellow cheddar, freshly grated
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons diced (not sliced) pimentos
1/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise
6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional
48 mini phyllo (filo) shells
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Combine cream cheese and mayo. You can do this with a mixer, but I usually just stir them together. Add grated cheeses, spices (optional), pimentos and salt and pepper to taste. Add in crumbled bacon, reserving a few tablespoons-worth for garnish.

Scoop mixture into the individual phyllo cups and place on the pan (they can be close together). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until shells have slightly browned and mixture has melted. Remove from oven, let cool for just long enough so that you're not risking any burnt mouths and serve!


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