Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheddar Cheese Puffs

This recipe makes me smile. I don't know if you can grasp it's greatness by the picture, but imagine a mini cheese popover and that's what these puffs are like. They're cheesy, chewy, hollow goodness--great on their own or as an addition to any meal. They are so good, in fact, that I decided to make them my traditional Thanksgiving roll. Ok, ok, they aren't technically rolls and, no, I've never actually made them for Thanksgiving before. But I'm sure they're going to be a hit when I make them this November!

Cheddar Cheese Puffs
(adapted from Simply Recipes)
Makes about 2 dozen

1 stick butter
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
Freshly ground pepper

1) In a medium sized saucepan, add water, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
2) Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour all at once. Stir rapidly. The mixture will form a dough ball that will pull away from the sides of the pan. It helps to use a wooden spoon to stir as the dough will be rather thick. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
3) Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a few minutes; stir so that the dough cools more evenly. You want the dough to be warm, but not so hot that when you start adding eggs they cook as they hit the dough.
4) Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until the eggs are incorporated into the dough. (Do this part in a mixer if you want, or by hand with a wooden spoon.) The dough should become rather creamy.
5) Stir in the grated cheese, thyme or rosemary, and a few grinds of pepper.
6) Spoon out small balls (about a heaping tablespoon) of the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, with at least an inch separating the spoonfuls.
7) Place in the oven and cook at for 10 minutes at 425°F. Lower heat to 350°F and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until puffed up and lightly golden. Enjoy!

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