Happy weekend, everyone. Even though it was short, that last week was much more difficult to get through than I thought it would be. My goal for the weekend is to do a couple of fun and restorative projects – probably sewing and blogging – and try to get my brain back into a place where I can focus. Coming back from vacation is hard work, apparently. But on to the
These cheddar puffs of goodness were Dave’s idea as an appetizer/side (it’s both, because we ate them while the green beans were still cooking AND during the meal itself) for our New Year’s Eve dinner.
Slightly more complicated than your average biscuit, the extra effort is worth it to have these be honest-to-goodness puffs, more closely related to a cream puff than a biscuit.
This recipe is from Slate.com, altered a bit. This recipe theoretically makes 12-14 ish I think? I’m not sure because we ate them all and very quickly.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
5 oz. by weight grated sharp cheddar cheese (supposedly this is 3/4 cup – I don’t buy it. It seemed like more to me).
Heat the oven to 450°F and line two baking sheets with silpat sheets (or parchment paper). Grease lightly.
Next, it’s time to make patè a choux, or choux paste. This is how these gougères are fundamentally related to cream puffs. You make them in the same way but with slightly different ingredients. Hang in there! This is easier than it sounds.
Combine the butter, milk, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms more of a dough. This will take a couple of minutes – like, 3-5. It should look like this:
Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it with the paddle attachment for 1 minute. Add the eggs in one at a time as you mix, waiting until the first egg is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next. Next, add the cheese and just combine.
We used a small cookie scoop to drop the scoops of the dough onto baking sheets. They do puff, but they don’t run out sideways, so you can put them pretty close together.
Bake at 450°F for 7 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350 for another 16-18 minutes. When they look golden brown, pull them out – don’t push it! Poke a small hole in the bottom with a fork, chopstick, knife tip, etc., to allow the steam to escape.
You can serve these later if you like, but they probably won’t last that long because they smell incredible and they taste that way too. We ate them all. In one meal. I regret nothing.