Salt and Pepper Gougeres

The next couple of recipes I will be posting I originally found on Elizabeth's blog. None of these were her own recipes, so I will be including the original source as well.

Yesterday was the perfect fall day; well almost perfect. Will was unexpectedly called in to work around 9:15, so by the time he came home at 12:30 he was understandably grumpy. His mood didn't exactly improve when we had to go run errands, so when we got home around 4 and spent some quality time with the pup, I decided to make a special little appetizer for him. I was slightly intimidated by this recipe at first, because dough and I don't always get along. No matter how hard I try, I always end up with sticky hands, misshapen cookies or loaves, and something gets burnt (this happened last night). However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these cheese puffs were to make! The preparation was very simple, and they ended up being a perfect prelude to the dinner I served later that night. After a couple-well, a dozen-of these and  mug of spiced apple cider, Will felt a thousand times more relaxed, and the kitchen smelled heavenly. I definitely plan on making these cheese puffs again, as they will be a great appetizer for a cocktail party.

Source: Sunset, December 2003


  • 1/2  cup  (1/4 lb.) butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 6  large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 1/4  cups  shredded sharp cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh-ground pepper
  • Coarse sea salt

1. In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups water and the butter to a full rolling boil.
2. Remove from heat, add flour all at once, and stir until mixture is a smooth, thick paste with no lumps.
3. Add a quarter of the beaten eggs at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until dough is no longer slippery.
 4. Add in cheese and pepper.
5. Spoon dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe in 48 equal mounds on two cooking parchment-lined or buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. (Alternatively, drop dough on sheets in slightly rounded tablespoon-size portions.)
6. Sprinkle each mound with a few grains of coarse sea salt.
7. Bake in a 400° regular or convection oven until dry and well browned, about 30 minutes. Serve warm. *Make sure you know your oven! Even though I followed the recipe exactly, my first batch looked like the picture below; way too brown and crispy. I ended up throwing them out. For the next two batches, I only had to cook them for 15 minutes before they were completely done, and very light and fluffy.


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