These cheddar cheese puffs make a perfect cocktail party app! Also known as “gougeres,” they’re light as air and so snack-able!

Very much like a savory cream puff, these bite-sized little flavor bombs are so perfect for snacking. They’re made from pate a choux and loaded with lots of yummy cheese! This classic French pastry is a perfect appetizer to serve at your holiday party.

Basket of cheese puffs with glasses of wine in the background.

Hey I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

My kids are finally back at school after TEN DAYS off! They were on break for all of Thanksgiving week, and then yesterday they got a snow day even though there wasn’t really even any snow. :/

It was great to have them home with me but they were starting to get a little stir crazy, so it’s good they’re finally back into their normal routine.

And here I am, with TONS of Christmas recipes to get out to you!

I started last week off with a few great cookie recipes for you to add to your baking list, so if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out these pecan sandies and these chocolate crinkle cookies. They are sure to be a big hit with your friends and family!

But it feels like it’s about time for something savory, so today I’m sharing these delicious little cheese puffs!

Gougere in a basket with a blue napkin, with a text overlay above reading "Cheese Puffs."

WHAT ARE CHEESE PUFFS?

They are a scrumptious little baked nibble that’s so perfect with a glass of wine or champagne!

Super savory and garlicky, with tons of sharp cheese, these babies are light as a cloud and so full of flavor.

They’re a classic French pastry that also goes by the fancy-pants name of “gougeres au fromage.”

And as much as I keep talking them up as cocktail party food, the truth is, my kids go crazy for these. I first introduced them to my older son when he was just 5 years old! He was a cheese fiend back then and he still is now, 7 years later!

Check out this old pic of him, in cheese heaven!

Cheese Heaven

Cheese Heaven

He had been inhaling those artificial cheese balls that are sold by the barrel at our local grocery store. I loved watching him enjoy them, but I thought it would be much nicer if he could snack on a homemade treat.

Now he can’t get enough of my homemade cheese puffs!

HOW TO MAKE CHEESE PUFFS AT HOME

Cheese puffs are easy to whip up in less than 30 minutes of active time, and they will make your whole house smell amazing!

Start by placing water, milk, butter, and salt in a medium pot and cooking that on the stove until the butter is melted and things are just starting to simmer.

Then, add in the flour. I know, this is a really weird way to make dough, but I promise this is how it’s done!

Adding flour to pate a choux.

Stir the flour in. At first it will look like a lumpy mess.

Stirring flour into pate a choux.

But after stirring for a bit, all the lumps will dissolve and you’ll have a smooth ball of dough. Continue to cook this for a minute or so, stirring, just to get the rawness out of the flour.

Making pate a choux pastry.

Then transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and start working in the eggs.

You’re going to want to mix in the eggs one at a time, allowing each one to fully incorporate before adding the next.

Adding eggs to pate a choux.

Once all the eggs have been mixed in, you’ll have a dough that’s very stretchy and a little loose.

Toss in the cheese and spices. I like to use extra sharp cheddar cheese, garlic, and a little bit of dry mustard. But you could use any kind of cheese you like!

I’ve made blue cheese gougeres and they are fantastic! Gruyere and parmesan are also great choices.

You could even fold in some finely crumbled sausage or chopped ham or bacon. That would be outstanding!

Adding cheese and spices to gougeres batter.

Next just pipe or spoon the batter onto baking sheets. I like to pipe them about 1-inch in diameter, using a 16-inch featherweight bag fitted with a jumbo round tip.

Unbaked cheese puffs piped on a baking sheet.

Keep in mind that these will puff up and expand quite a bit as they bake, so you need to give them some breathing room!

Sprinkling cheese on unbaked choux puffs.

The last step is to hit them with another pinch of cheese on top, and then into the oven they go!

You’ll know they’re done baking when they’ve doubled in size and they’re looking nicely browned on their bottoms.

HOW TO EAT GOUGERES

These cheese puffs can be enjoyed warm from the oven OR at room temperature.

They’re fantastic with a cocktail, and they’d be a gorgeous addition to your cheese/charcuterie/fruit/crudite platter.

They’d also be delicious as a side dish to a nice pot of soup. Try them along with my favorite corn chowder or gazpacho!

CAN YOU FILL THEM?

You may notice when you take a bite that these are hollow in the center! That is the magic of baking and one of the things that makes these cheese puffs so impossibly light and airy.

It also makes for a perfect little hidey-hole to fill with something delicious. Think about stuffing your gougeres with any kind of savory mousse or soft herbed cheese.

Overhead image of cheese puffs recipe baked and arranged in a basket with glasses of wine.

HOW TO SERVE

Cheese puffs can be tumbled into a basket like you see here, or served on a tray if you want to be a little fancier.

Try garnishing them with fresh or dried fruit for a really nice contrast, or with finely chopped herbs such as sage, rosemary, or thyme.

HOW TO STORE CHEESE PUFFS

These will keep at room temperature for a few days. Just slip them into a zip-top bag so they don’t get stale.

Pop them in the fridge, and they should last around a week or so.

CAN YOU FREEZE THEM?

Pate a choux puffs freeze beautifully!

Allow them to cool completely, bag them up, and they’ll last in the freezer for months.

And because they’re mostly air, they thaw very quickly at room temperature.

Cheese puff recipe prepared and arranged in a basket with fresh herbs.

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Cheese Puffs
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

These cheddar cheese puffs make a perfect cocktail party app! Also known as "gougeres," they're light as air and so snack-able!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cheese puffs, cheese puffs recipe, gougere, gougeres
Servings: 60 puffs (approx.)
Calories: 32 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.

  2. Place the water, milk, butter, and salt in a medium pot and cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the liquid is simmering.

  3. Add the flour, all at once, stirring over low heat until the dough forms a ball.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, and beat in the eggs one at a time, allowing each one to fully incorporate in before adding the next.

  5. Fold in the cheese, garlic powder, and dry mustard.

  6. Spoon or pipe 1-inch balls onto the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned on the bottoms.

Recipe Notes

For more info on how to make pate a choux pastry, click here: Simply Perfect Pate a Choux (and be sure to check out the comments section; there's lots of great info there!).

Nutrition Facts
Cheese Puffs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 32 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 56mg2%
Potassium 10mg0%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 79IU2%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

………………………………………………………..

*First published on April 16, 2013.*

We are a houseful of cheese-lovers.  Especially my five-year old.

He is a cheddar fiend.

I had to come to terms with the fact that he simply cannot come grocery shopping with me any more.  When he sees the industrial-sized barrel of cheese balls, THEY ARE COMING HOME WITH US.

The container doesn’t even fit in our cupboard.

And he does not let up until they are gone.  For serious.  He can inhale one of those monsters in three days flat.

Needless to say I’m none too pleased.

So I thought I’d try to turn him on to the original cheese ball.  The “gougere.”

Gougeres with Cheddar

If you’ve never heard of gougeres, they’re just a fancy-pants word for cheese puffs.

Specifically, they are like a cream puff, only savory.  And cheesy. Yum.

Water, milk, butter, and salt come up to a simmer on the stove.  Flour is stirred in, over the heat, until it balls up and comes away from the sides of the pot.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Cheddar Cheese Gougeres

Season with garlic powder, dried mustard, and CHEEEEEEESE…!

I would recommend using the best quality, and sharpest, aged cheddar you can get your hands on.  That’s how you get the most cheesy, bang for your buck taste.

Pipe little mounds onto a lined baking sheet and top with- MORE CHEESE!

Cheddar Gougeres

Bake ’till puffed and golden.

Cheddar Gougeres

My son could smell these the second he walked in the door from kindergarten.  I had him hooked!

Cheddar Gougeres
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the water, milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the flour, over medium heat. Continue to stir until well combined and pulling away from the sides of the pot and into a ball.
  4. Place the dough in a mixing bowl and let cool for about a minute. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add the garlic powder, dry mustard, and cheese, and stir to combine.
  6. Pipe into 2 inch mounds, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Top with more cheese, and bake for 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cheddar Gougeres

The gougeres are puffy and lighter than air!

Yet somehow, rich and buttery at the same time…

Cheddar Gougeres

And they have an intensely cheesy, garlicky flavor.  So addictive!  They are our new favorite snack.

😉