Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated, divided
- 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, finely grated
- 4 eggs, room temperature
Pour the milk into a non-stick sauce pan or large non-stick skillet. Cut the butter into large pats before adding it to the milk. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture comes to a simmer. A simmer is when tiny bubbles form around the interior edges of the pan, but the mixture is not boiling. Stir in the salt, dry mustard, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
Whisk the flour into the milk mixture until smooth. Continue heating until the dough becomes very thick and starts to clean the bottom and sides of the pan, stirring continuously with a sturdy wooden spoon. The dough should form a large, soft clump. Remove pan from heat. Allow the dough to cool for 2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line three rimmed half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
Once the dough has cooled slightly, stir 1/2 cup Cheddar and Asiago cheese into the dough. Next, add the eggs individually, working each into the dough with the wooden spoon until well incorporated before adding the next. After the addition of the eggs, the dough should be loose and somewhat sticky.
Transfer the dough to a large plastic bag. Carefully squeeze the dough toward one of the bottom corners of the bag. Twist the top of the bag in a continuous spiral down to meet the dough. The twisted end will act as a handle with which to hold the dough. Snip ½-inch off the bottom corner of the bag with a pair of scissors.
Gently squeeze 1-inch diameter mounds of dough, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the puffs with the reserved Cheddar cheese, gently pressing the cheese on the puff to adhere. Bake the cheese puffs for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on size) or until cheese is melted on top and just beginning to brown.
Serve warm or transfer the puffs to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe Notes: Cheese Puffs may be made ahead of time! Cooked and cooled puffs may be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid, and then transferred to a freezer container to be frozen for up to one month. To serve, place frozen puffs on parchment-lined baking sheets. Reheat the puffs at 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through. In the absence of a large plastic bag, the dough may be portioned by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans. Leftover cheese puffs may be stored for one day in an airtight container at room temperature. Cheese puffs may also be split in half lengthwise, and filled with chicken salad or another tasty filling for a heartier, two-bite appetizer.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.