10, 9, 8……while we are feverishly counting down, Curdis is cool and keeping it easy with these cheese puffs or Gougères. It takes less time to mix up a batch than it does to bake them, and the ingredients are always at your fingertips – minus the cheese, but then you get to come in and see us! The French first figured out how to mix together the most basic ingredients to form this powerful puff.  With the addition of our beloved Challerhöcker and caraway seeds, this Gougère can proudly be a stand-alone snack next to the bowl of nuts, or split these little guys in half, add in a little Zoe’s Ham and Dijon mustard for a Superstar hors d’oeuvre.  If nothing so far has convinced you to make these, this will: 1) make ahead, 2) freeze, 3) reheat in oven for 10 minutes, 4) wow guests. Enjoy!

-Queen Christine

½ cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup flour
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon caraway
1/3 pound Challerhöcker, grated (about ½ cup)

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil, and be sure all the butter is melted. 
  3. Remove from heat, add flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture comes together to form a smooth ball, about 1 minute.  A wooden spoon works best for mixing this dough.
  4. Return pan to medium heat.  Continue to cook, stirring for about 1-2 minutes to dry the dough. 
  5. Remove pan from heat to cool, about 1-2 minute.  Stir to allow steam to escape.
  6. When mixture is cooled, add the eggs, one at a time and stir in quickly to be sure the eggs do not cook.  The dough will fall apart at first, like large lumpy curds.  Continue to stir vigorously for about 1 minute and it will come back together in a thick, paste-like dough. 
  7. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of cheese; stir in the rest of the cheese and caraway seeds. 
  8. Scoop out the dough into small rounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  A 1 ounce scoop works great or a teaspoon works just as well. 
  9. Top with reserved cheese and a few more caraway seeds.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400 for another 20-25 minutes, until the dough is puffed and golden brown. 
  11. Serve hot.  If using later, allow to cool and pop them in a zip lock bag to freeze.  Reheat at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes

Makes 1  1/2  dozen