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Gruyère Herb Puffs

Gruyère Herb Puffs
These pretty little puffs are made from choux pastry, which is also used for cream puffs.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and water. Heat until the butter melts and the water boils, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and salt and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and let cool for 3 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon or a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter should have a dull sheen. Stir in the cheese, thyme, rosemary and hot-pepper sauce until well mixed.

Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the mounds about 2 inches apart. Alternatively, spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large rosette tip and pipe mounds of batter onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool. Arrange the puffs in a basket or on a tray. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 24 puffs; serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Holiday Celebrations, by Marie Simmons (Time-Life Books, 1998).