Friday, December 23, 2011

I Could Call Them Gougére...

...because I started out with a simple Pate aux Choux recipe. But with cheddar cheese and chipotle, ya gotta call 'em cheese puffs.

If you are hosting a party this holiday season or need something to bring to that New Year's Eve fete that is sure to impress, try these yummy treats!  It's easy and kind of addictive.

Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Puffs

Using a good, sharp cheddar (and not that orange block) really makes these suckers shine.  Smoky, cheesy goodness!

1 cup water
1 stick butter
2 tsp Chipotle powder
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
4 eggs
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425˚.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a stock pot, bring water, butter, Chipotle and salt to a boil.  Lower heat.  Dump in the flour in one fell swoop, and stir in one direction with a wooden spoon.  DON'T PANIC!  It's going to look like a hot mess for a little bit.  Just keep stirring.  Quickly a dough ball will form.  Stir for a little bit longer to dry out the dough just a bit.  Transfer to a bowl.

Keep stirring and add the eggs one at a time.  AGAIN, DON'T PANIC! It's going to look weird until the egg is fully incorporated.  Just keep stirring!  Once the eggs are incorporated, add cheese.  And keep stirring until fully combined.  Transfer the sticky dough to a pastry bag or a large freezer bag (and cut a tiny slit in one of the corners).    Pipe dough onto the parchment line sheets in little golf ball sized globs.  The trick here is to pipe in a circular motion so the dough piles on top of itself.  Damp your finger and push down any curly Qs to prevent burning.

Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.  Turn oven down to 350˚ and bake for 30 minutes.  DO NOT PEAK!  You want to keep the oven nice and hot, so resist the temptation to open it.  After 30 minutes, you can check them.  The puffs should be firm and slightly crispy.  You may need to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, depending on how humid it is that day.  Cool and enjoy!

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