A favorite of Test Kitchen staffers and readers for over 20 years, these irresistible French “cheese puffs” are the perfect hors d’oeuvre. Believed to originally come from Burgundy, these savory choux pastries are commonly made with grated Gruyère, but Comté or Emmentaler work just as well. Gougères freeze nicely so it is easy to transport to parties and gatherings. They are best enjoyed as appetizers while the cheese is still warm but can be served at room temperature for wine tastings.
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- ½ cups whole milk
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
Preheat the oven (with its 2 racks evenly spaced) to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
To a medium pot, add the milk, butter, salt, and ½ cup water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture until a soft dough forms. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot as you stir, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, then use a hand mixer to beat in 1 egg until smooth. Repeat with the remaining eggs until all are incorporated, then stir in the cheese.
Using a 1-ounce scoop or medium spoon, portion 2-tablespoon-size scoops of batter onto the lined baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each scoop. Quickly transfer the gougères to the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 375°F. Bake until firm and pale golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.