These Gougeres (or cheese puffs) are so easy to make, and taste great. Don't let the fact that they are made with Choux dough turn you off. I always thought that would be really complicated, but it's so easy, just make sure you have all the ingredients out and ready to go, because once the dough comes together, you have to move quickly. This recipe is from Ina Gartens "Barefoot in Paris" book. I have made these a few times and it gets easier and easier.
1 cup milk
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
½ cup a Gruyere cheese: plus extra for sprinkling
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded (heat it to just below the boiling point). Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, Gruyere and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.
I used my 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop to put these out on the baking sheets and I get exactly 40 puffs out of it. Ina says you can spoon the mixture into a pastry bag and then pipe them into 1 1/4 inches wide and 3/4 inch high onto the baking sheet. I say unless you are an expert with the pastry bag, forget it. Too messy. If you don't have a small scoop you can use two spoons, and then shape the puffs with wet fingers.
Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.