It is just one week away from Thanksgiving. As an early planner like me, I can tell you that I am not prepared at all. At this moment, I am still waiting for a head count. Oh my goodness… I hope I will find out by tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I am slowly coming up with ideas for our potluck dinner. If no one takes on a potato side, my loaded mashed potatoes from last week can definitely be one. This week, I got the bread/appetizer ready. These cheesy and fluffy puffs are all you need. These are French little goodies, called “gougères”. They are the savory version of cream puffs without the cream. These can be made ahead to freeze. Right before your guests arrive, bake them and serve. If you don’t have enough oven space, bake these a couple of hours ahead and serve them at room temperature. I promise your guests won’t miss the traditional bread rolls and can’t stop eating these cheese puffs.
These gruyere gougères are fairly easy to make. Boil the water and butter. Add the flour and stir everything into a dough. Mix in eggs and there is your dough. Scoop or pipe them on baking sheet. Bake for just 30 minutes, your delicious cheese puffs are ready. You can also easily customize them by adding additional ingredients, like herbs and bacon. My blogger friend, Monica from Playing with Flour made some kick-ass cheddar-bacon gougères. If you are looking for a fancier and meatier gougère recipe, check out Monica’s version. I am keeping mine simple as there will be many other flavors on the Thanksgiving table.
Now, ready to bake some cheese puffs? I will be making mine this Friday and baking them on Thanksgiving day. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! I will be taking a week off next week, which gives me some time to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂
Gruyère Gougères (Cheese Puffs)
Makes 24 – 28 small puffs
– 1 cup water
– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (diced)
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
– 1½ cup grated gruyère (6 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment papers.
- In a medium saucepan, add the water, butter, salt and mustard. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once butter has melted, remove the pan from heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes. Return the pan to medium-low heat. Cook and continue to stir vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan, about 3 – 4 minutes. The dough is ready when it has a shine.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the hot dough. Beat the dough on a medium-low speed for 2 minutes until it is just warm to touch. With the mixer running, add the beaten egg in four additions. Make sure the egg has been absorbed and the dough is smooth out before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The dough should be smooth and creamy at the end. Mix in cheese.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Pipe about 1 tablespoon dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1-inch apart. To smooth out the sharp tops, push down slightly with a wet finger.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 350˚F (180˚C). Bake for another 20 -25 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking for even cooking. The gougères should be puffed and golden. They should be dry in the center and sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If you don’t have a piping bag and tip, just use a Ziploc bag or spoon.
- The unbaked gougères can be freeze directly on the baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer storage bag or container. Bake them straight out of the freezer. It will just take a few minutes longer.
- Store the leftover in the fridge and bake in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven to re-crisp.
(Adapted from The Splendid Table)