Sometimes you are in need of something to serve as an appetizer or bring to a meeting or friend’s home and these are quite easy and so addictive. They truly make you look like a gourmet chef. I have included the original recipe from Kathy Casey below but as I don’t care for poppy seeds, I don’t include them. I considered this recipe bullet-proof as I have misread tablespoon and teaspoon a couple times with both the garlic and salt and it still tastes great. I’ve added more cheese and it works, too.
One more change – I like to cook them until golden brown on the bottom which is less than the recipe calls for – but it is dependent on how large the puffs are – so keep an eye on them.
Makes about 50 puffs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Place the water, milk, butter, salt, and garlic in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
All at once, add the flour, stirring it in quickly with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring—the mixture will come away from the sides of the pan and become thick and stiff. Continue stirring and turning over for about 1 minute. (You want to dry the mixture out a bit.)
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and, with a hand-held or standing mixer, beat on medium-high speed. Add 1 of the eggs.
As soon as the egg is partially incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high. Add the remaining eggs, ONE AT A TIME, when each previous egg is well incorporated. (THIS IS IMPORTANT) The mixture should be smooth.
Set the dough aside for 5 minutes, then stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan.
Let the dough cool for about 15 minutes before piping or shaping.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. You will need 2 or 3 baking sheets, or work in batches. (If you don’t have parchment, lightly spray baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray and watch the bottoms of the cheese puffs closely to prevent over browning.) Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls—they should be the size of large marbles—onto the parchment. (You can also pipe the dough using a pastry bag and a large plain tip.)
Mix together the poppy seeds and remaining 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan. Sprinkle the top of each dough ball with a little of the mixture.
Bake on the upper rack of the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until puffs are golden. Serve warm. You can make these a few hours in advance, keep at room temperature, then reheat in a hot oven for a few minutes.
Chef’s Tips: If you’re short of baking sheets, have more dough balls ready on sheets of parchment. When a batch of puffs is done, remove the baking sheet from the oven, pull off the parchment filled with cooked puffs, and quickly place a waiting parchment sheet of dough balls onto the baking sheet.
Recipe Copyright © 2008 by Kathy Casey.