It's the "Second Day of Appetizers" this holiday season on Ruminations on Food, and I bring you a great recipe that I ripped (literally) from the Star Tribune taste section. Gougeres are bite-sized, airy cheese puffs that make a great appetizer for any gathering or meal. The recipe is pretty simple and my favorite part about gougeres is that you can make them ahead of time and pop them in the oven for five minutes before serving. Easy. And cheesy. The puffs hollow out as they bake, so this is also a light snack that won't fill up your stomach before the big meal. I brought mine to my family's Thanksgiving dinner up in Osakis. The pumpkin pie I made was a disaster, so I was glad I had these little guys to fall back on!
adapted from the Star Tribune
makes about 36 puffs
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.*
In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter, water, and salt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and add the cup of flour all at once to the liquid. Begin stirring immeidately with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a ball of dough. Return the pan to medium heat and continue stirring for another minute, until a light film begins to coat the bottom of the pan.
Scrape the dough into a larger bowl and beat with a mixer for about a minute to cool it off. Reserve about a tablespoon of the beaten egg for later, and add in the rest of the egg mixture to the dough in four parts, beating after each addition until the egg has completely incorporated.
Add in one cup of the cheese, the mustard, and pepper, and stir until well blended. Then you may either use a tablespoon to measure out the dough, or put the dough into a large plastic bag and snip one of the corners off. Then use the bag like a pastry bag and squeeze out little bits of dough onto the pan.
Using a pastry brush, dot each dough mound with a bit of the reserved egg mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake another 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top of the puffs. Put back into the oven for a minute to set the cheese. Then let cool for a bit, but serve warm. If you are baking in advance, let cool completely and store in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for up to a month. Reheat at 350 degrees for about five minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
*I ran out of parchment paper and tried just greasing the pans with cooking spray. It made it hard to form the dough into little puffs because it kept sliding around. Go with the parchment paper!