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Light, cheesy puffs of (almost) air. The perfect finger food for your next cocktail party or potluck.
Ensure the rack is in the middle position of your oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Combine the water, butter, salt and mustard powder (if using) in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Then remove pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir in the flour until a smooth paste forms. Return to heat over medium-low and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes to dry out the dough. It’s ready when it’s shiny and stiff.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat the dough on medium-low for 1 minute, until the steam dissipates. Alternatively, use a handheld mixer, or beat the dough by hand with a wooden spoon.
With the machine on, add the eggs one at a time, waiting until the egg is absorbed and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg. Scrape down the bowl as needed. When all of the eggs are incorporated, you will have a smooth, creamy batter that hangs from a spoon in a ragged V. Beat in the cheese.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip to pipe out ping pong ball-sized mounds, at least 1” apart. Alternately, drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the sheet if you don’t have a piping bag. Wet your fingertip with cold water and smooth down the peaked tops.
Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack of the heated oven. (If there’s room in your refrigerator, refrigerate the second sheet while the first bakes.)
To prevent the dough from collapsing, do not open the oven door for the first 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the sheet 90 degrees, reduce the oven temp to 350°F, and continue baking until golden, about 10-15 more minutes. The gougeres should feel lightweight and hollow.
Cool on a wire rack. Reheat the oven to 425°F before baking the second batch using the same method above.
Serve warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and crisp them up in a warm oven before serving.
- Strong, aged cheeses work best for this recipe. Let’s just say mozzarella gougeres won’t knock your socks off. Gruyere is traditional, and my favourite.
- I love adding a little freshly ground, coarse black pepper or cayenne to the dough instead of the dry mustard powder for a little extra kick.
- When I say large eggs, I really mean it for this recipe. Don’t use extra large. If you can’t find large, buy medium instead. Too much egg will cause the puffs to cave-in. And if they do cave in, don’t sweat it! They’ll still be delicious … and they will have character.
- Gougeres can be any size you like. Marble-sized (to garnish soup), or big tennis ball-sized ones (which make great fancy sandwiches). Adjust baking times as required.
I am a Mexican food fiend and nothing makes me happier than a big bowl of pico de gallo and chips. This is such an easy recipe and you can make it mild, medium or spicy depending on what you prefer. I like spicy, so jalapeno peppers are for me, but you could add habanero peppers if you like a lot of heat!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!