Rosemary Cheese Puffs

August 21, 2007

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This is a variation of French choux pastry. ‘Choux’ means ‘cabbage,’ which is what the little puffs resemble. Master these, and you’ll be the favorite of everyone you know. SAM

1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1 to 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
1 to 2 dashes of hot paprika
2 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the boiling water. Add the flour, salt, cheese, pepper, and paprika. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. With an electric mixer—or a wooden spoon if you have very strong arms—beat in the rosemary and the eggs one by one until the dough is stiff. Drop by half teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through.
Makes 5 dozen puffs.