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Kimberly Marx | Pedernales EC

Gougères are a classic French appetizer made by combining choux pastry with a strongly flavored grated cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal or aged cheddar. They are delicious on their own, crispy and warm from the oven or at room temperature, and with any number of fillings.

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup flour
5 eggs, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) coarsely grated aged cheese (such as Gruyère, Asiago or sharp cheddar)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment.

2. Combine the milk, water, butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a rapid boil, then add flour. Lower the heat to medium-low and immediately stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together, and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring another 1–2 minutes to dry dough (at this point it should be very smooth).

3. Turn the dough into a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer or wooden spoon). Allow the dough to sit 1–2 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next. (The dough may separate until the last egg is incorporated.) Beat in the grated cheese, then spoon out immediately.

4. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving a 2-inch space between each. Place baking sheets into oven, immediately reducing temperature to 375 degrees, and bake 12 minutes. Rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom, and continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm and puffed, another 12–15 minutes. Serve warm or transfer the pans to racks to cool.

Makes about 36 gougères.

Cook’s Tip

To prepare them in advance, freeze mounds of the unbaked pastry on a baking sheet. When they’re solid, lift off sheet and freeze in sealable plastic bags. (Follow the baking instructions, allowing a few more minutes in the oven.) Leftover baked puffs can be stored at room temperature overnight and reheated in a 350-degree oven, or they can be frozen and reheated before serving.

December 2018 Recipe Contest