Gougeres (french cheese puffs)

 
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Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)
If freezing for later, scoop them into the prepared baking sheet and bring them to the freezer. Once frozen, remove from baking sheet to a freezer storage container. When ready to use them, bake directly from the freezer for a little longer than what the recipe asks for.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, plus more
  • Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water
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Directions

40 minutes
  • 1Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  • 2Combine water, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg (if using) in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil, over medium high heat.
  • 3Once the water is boiling and the butter has melted, remove the saucepan from the stove and add all the flour at once. Stir vigorously until combined and resembling mashed potatoes. Bring the pan back to the stove, over medium-low heat, and cook until the dough dries out a bit and starts to create a film on the bottom of the pan, about 3-5 minutes.
  • 4Transfer the dough to your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the dough on medium low speed so it cools off a bit. Once it's just warm to the touch, start adding the eggs, one at a time. Wait for each egg to be completely incorporated before adding the next one. The final dough should be smooth and creamy.
  • 5Add the cheese and mix until incorporated.
  • 6Shape the Gougeres: Using a medium-sized scoop, drop the dough from a spoon onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. For more uniform-looking Gougeres, I like to get my hands and shape the dough into little balls before placing them on the baking sheets. You can also go the Julia Child way and scrape the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, about the size of a small cherry tomato.
  • 7Brush the top of each Gougere with egg wash and sprinkle with extra grated cheese or some chopped fresh herbs.
  • 8Bake the Gougeres for 5 minutes and then lower the heat to 350F degrees. Bake for another 20 minutes, rotating once during the baking time, or until puffed and deep golden brown.
  • 9Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from baking trays to cooling racks.
  • 10Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

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