This classic appetizer starts with the same dough used to make cream puffs and takes them for a savory spin. I like to have gougeres ready for last-minute holiday guests by freezing them (unbaked) well ahead of time, then popping them into the oven when I need them. Make sure you use the strongest-flavored, tastiest cheese you can find; as with most recipes, the finished product is only as good as its ingredients.
1 c water
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup minced scallions, arugula, basil or fresh green flavoring of your choice
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring
water, butter, cayenne and salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan.
Remove from heat; mix in flour. Stir over medium heat until mixture
becomes slightly shiny and pulls away from sides of pan, about 3
minutes. Transfer to stand mixer fitted with paddle. Add eggs one at a
time, mixing well after each addition to form sticky dough. Mix in
cheese and scallions.
Using 2 teaspoons, form dough into 1 1/4" to 1 1/2"
ovals. Drop onto baking sheets 1" apart. (Can be made ahead. Place baking sheets in freezer, remove gougeres to a container or Ziploc bag when hardened, keep frozen up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake until golden,
about 30 minutes if at room temperature and 35 minutes if chilled or
frozen. Serve immediately. Makes about 36.
Labels: appetizers, breads, thanksgiving