Monday, February 16, 2015

Say Cheese

Quick Gruyere Puffs

Okay. So when the doctor's office has magazines full of recipes like this on laying around, are they drumming up more business? I went for lab work a few days ago and saw this recipe. I just couldn't resist. At least the blood work was done before I made these!

I wanted something a little special for our Valentine celebration. We don't go out that night. A dinner at home suits us and it's a little less crazy. We started with these cheese puffs.

I have made hundreds and hundreds of plain puffs that I stuff with chicken salad for baby and wedding showers. So this technique was not so unusual for me. This recipe was pretty easy. Just one saucepan and a baking sheet. So the clean up was quick. It doesn't make nearly as many puffs as my other recipe, so there was only the single pan to bake. It was the perfect amount--just one pan full of delicious cheese puffs.

If you have never made puff shells, just trust the recipe. Do what it says. The dough looks a little like Play-Doh when it's ready to spoon onto the baking pan. It should look like that. It's easy enough to make for guests. (Read my reheating notes at the bottom.)


1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur unbleached all-purpose)
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
extra grated Gruyere cheese (optional)

  • Preheat over to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it.) Set aside. 
  • In a small saucepan, combine water, butter, basil, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring to melt butter.
  • Add flour, all at once. stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until dough forms a ball that doesn't separate. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to dough in saucepan, beating with a spoon after each addition until smooth.
  • Stir in shredded Gruyere cheese. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, about 2-inches apart, on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes more, until puffed and golden brown. 
  • Turn off oven. Let puffs stand in oven for 3 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with extra Gruyere cheese. (This extra cheese did not melt for me, even though I sprinkle the minute they came out of the oven.) Serve hot. 

Makes 20 puffs

These were just perfect! Now, if you have never had cheese puffs, understand that the center is supposed to be empty. It's a very light appetizer.  This recipe is almost as good as the cheese puffs I enjoyed at Bistro Niko in Atlanta. And we got to enjoy these by our very own fire. A nice start to our Valentine dinner.

The restaurant puffs were smaller. About half the size of these. This recipe said it made 20 and that is what I got, so they are the size intended.  I'm not sure I would call these "mini." But whatever the size, they are delicious.

The morning after our Valentine celebration, I heated some of the leftover puffs for breakfast. I popped them into the toaster oven, tray removed, and pushed the "toast" button. Just a couple of minutes in the little oven and they were as delicious as the freshly baked ones. Knowing that they can be reheated nicely would make them more usable for serving to guests.

Reheating in the microwave would have left them soft, but with the toaster oven I got a hot, crispy puff. I think you probably could put the entire batch of puffs on a baking sheet and back into a hot oven for just a very few minutes if you wanted to make them ahead for a party.

I plan to freeze the last two, just to see if freezing and reheating will give me a good puff. I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed that works because these would be fabulous to have on hand in your freezer.

1 comment:

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