Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

These delightful cheese puffs are a great gooey warm treat for any southern party. They are easy to make, and best served warm.  The recipe is borrowed from Alice Water's 'The Art of Simple Food' cookbook. 

Ingredients are few and simple, but high in quality.

Heat, without boiling, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan:

  1/2 cup water                                                                                                                                                     3 tbs butter cut into small pieces                                                                                                                   1/2 tsp salt

When the butter has melted, stir in, all at once:

  1/2 cup flour

Keep stirring vigorously until the mixture comes together an begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Keep stirring over the heat for another minute, then transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and allow to cool. 

 cooled dough

cooled dough

Once the mixture has cooled slightly, beat in, one at a time:

  2 eggs

Beat in the first egg completely before adding the next. 

Once the egg is thouroughly mixed in, stir in:

  3 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with Parchment paper. 

Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets in spoonfuls either 1 or 2 inches in diameter, and 1 and 1/2 inches apart. 

Bake undisturbed at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 375 degrees for 15 more minutes. The puffs should be golden brown and crisp on the outside.

Pierce each warm puff after removing from the oven with a sharp pointed knife to let out steam (keeps 'em crisp!) and serve right away. The puffs can be reheated in a 375 degree oven for 3 minutes.