Cheese Wafers
One bite, and you’ll know why these cheese waters made Mamie famous. Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.




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JOEL BARNETT is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.



September 2007
Updated October 2008

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Hors D’Oeuvres & Cocktail Snacks

Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers

Cheddar, Pecans & A Kick Of Cayenne


CAPSULE REPORT: In the South, cheese straws and biscuits are de rigueur for entertaining; elsewhere they are a popular cocktail snack—or simply great with a beer. Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers, which claims to be the first slice-and-bake hors d'oeuvre, is a real find. A peppery cheese biscuit, it keeps in the freezer until you have guests, then wows them with the aroma of Cheddar, the taste of Southern pecans and a complex palate that’s sure to please. You do virtually nothing except slice and bake and accept compliments.



Sometime in the 1800s, recipes for cheese straws began to appear in cookbooks. At the simplest level, they were easy cheese doughs. Take flour, baking powder, grated cheese and some salt; then knead, roll out the dough and cut with a pastry wheel into long, narrow strips (the “straws”). The original cheese straws were said to have been made from leftover biscuit dough and baked along with the biscuits, but served as snacks instead of with meals. More evolved recipes used complex cheeses and spices, added nuts and herbs  and created different shapes—twists and rounds, for example. Today, according to the makers of Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers, they are “absolutely a Southern party requirement. They are served at parties, weddings, showers, holiday celebrations and ‘just because.’”  

Friends Susan Thompson and Barkley Shreve began producing Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers in Mobile, Alabama in 2003, from an old family recipe (Mamie is the nickname of Barkley’s mother). The all-natural treats have no preservatives: just five quality ingredients.

When you bite into a wafer, you taste butter and Cheddar. Then pecan. Then the cayenne tiptoes in to a crescendo.

Easy Hors D’Oeuvres

The convenience of these frozen, slice-and-bake hors d’oeuvres can’t be beat. Keep the rolls of Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers in the freezer until half an hour before you’re ready to serve them. Then:

  • Allow the package to thaw slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Slice the dough into 1/8-inch thick rounds.
  • Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the wafers are a golden brown.

The aroma will fill your kitchen and beyond, and will have guests wandering in—so ordering a dozen rolls is not lavish. You’ll have people begging to buy some to take home. (Unless, of course, you want to pretend they’re your grandmother’s secret recipe—we won’t tell!)

While delicious warm from the oven, we can attest that kept in a cookie tin, they were still fine a month later. The only reason there were still any left a month later (much less a day later) is that we thought the tin was empty.

Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafers
Compact 14-ounce tubes fit easily in the freezer. Just slice and bake! Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.

Keep a few rolls in the freezer for impromptu cocktail guests, and plan ahead for parties. If you don’t have a house gift, look in your freezer and wrap up a roll or two.

As we write this, at the beginning of October, we like the way the orange cheese wafers look on black for Adult Halloween. And we’re beginning to wonder if a dozen rolls will last through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve...not to mention Super Bowl Sunday!



  • $7/14-Ounce Roll
    Each Roll Makes 42 Wafers†
    Sold In Multiples Of 3
    Minimum 3 Rolls
    Shipped Frozen
    Shipping Additional

Purchase online* at or telephone 1.251.479.9991.

†This may sound like a big number, but they disappear quickly!

Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafers

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. This link to purchase is provided as a reader convenience.