Alex Hitz’s Bel-Air Onion Puffs

“This is my go-to recipe for an elegant and deceptively easy hors d’oeuvre. It’s impressive and delicious, and people will think you spent a lot of time making it—wink, wink!” – Alice Doyle, Editorial Director, FLOWER magazine
Bel-Air Onion Puffs

Alex Hitz shares his recipe for Bel-Air Onion Puffs from his book The Art of the Host: Recipes and Rules for Flawless Entertaining (Rizzoli 2019). We love these puffs not only because they’re delicious, but also because you can make them up to two hours ahead and warm them in the oven when guests arrive.

Bel-Air Onion Puffs

Makes 15 to 20 small hors d’oeuvres


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 slices good-quality white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 green onions, both green and white parts, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


1 | Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 | Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Assemble the pieces of bread on the prepared baking sheet and paint both sides with the melted butter using a pastry brush. Place the buttered bread in the oven and bake it for 12 minutes.

3 | Remove the baking sheet from the oven, turn the bread, and place it back in the oven for another 12 minutes, until the toasts are fully cooked through. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for at least 20 minutes—or stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

4 | Preheat the oven to broil. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, green onions, salt, and pepper. Spread the mayonnaise and cheese mixture evenly over the three slices of toast, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and broil them in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, until they are bubbling and golden brown. Remove them from the oven. Cut the puffs with a 1-inch biscuit cutter and serve them immediately, or set them aside and let them cool for up to 2 hours before re-heating them on a low oven and serving them warm.

book cover for The Art of the Host by Alex Hitz