~*~ FLOWER BLOSSOM CHEESE PUFFS ~*~
SERVES: ABOUT 30 MINI PUFFS ⎟LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE
April showers bring May flowers, so what do May flowers bring? Cheese Puffs! Also known as Gougéres, these French choux pastries are inspired by the stunning Alp Blossom Cheese. Adorn yours with any combination of dried (or fresh) flowers and herbs. Make them tiny for a fun party snack, or double the size for sandwiches. You can even take it to the next level and fill them with cream cheese or sliced ham.
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of paprika
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh herb of choice
3/4 cup Gruyére or sharp cheddar cheese
Dried Flower & Herb topping options:
dandelions, cornflower, marigold, rose petals, lavender, parsley, rosemary, oregano, savory, garlic, and onion
Step 1: Kitchen Preparation.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Grate the cheese.
- Cut butter into cubes.
Step 2: Make the Dough.
- Add water, rose water, butter, salt, and paprika to a pot. Bring to medium heat and cook until the butter is melted and water starts bubbling.
- Remove from heat and add all the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Return the pot to heat and stir for 3-5 minutes to dry out the dough.
- When it smells nutty and a film of starch forms on the bottom, the dough is ready.
Step 3: Finish the Batter.
- Pour the dough into a glass bowl or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Let cool for about 5 minutes or until warm (not hot) to the touch.
- Add 2 eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly until smooth. The batter will appear lumpy at first, but keep stirring, it will eventually come together. Finally, fold in the cheese and fresh herbs.
*TIP* Check your batter by scooping up some of the dough with a spoon If a stiff ‘V’ hangs from the spoon, it’s ready!
Step 4: Pipe the Puffs.
- Pipe the puffs, spacing them about 1-inch apart:
1) Use two spoons to scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheet.
2) Scoop batter into a Ziplock bag and snip off 1 inch of the corner.
3) Use parchment paper to make a bag.
- Wet your fingertip with water and pat down any spikes on the mounds; this prevents burning. Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush each puff with egg wash and sprinkle with dried flowers and herbs.
*MAKE AHEAD* At this point, you can place the baking sheet into the freezer and bake them later.
Step 5: Bake the Puffs.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F, and bake for 20-25 minutes until darker in color.
- Rotate the pan halfway through.
Step 6: Serve & Store.
- Serve immediately because nothing is better than a warm crispy cheese puff.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. Re-crisp in a warm oven.