If you've never had gougères, you're in for a real treat. These addictingly airy French snacks, pronounced Goo-jairs, are a decadent puff of savory flavors—mostly gruyère, with just a hint of anchovy umami. They're light, yet filling, and are always the first thing to disappear at a party.
Adapted from a recipe on Food 52. Makes around 20 gougères:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 Tbsp. nonfat milk (or 1:1 half and half with water) + extra for brushing tops
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup gruyère cheese, grated plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup pecorino, grated plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, leaves picked
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 anchovy fillets, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat your oven at 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add butter, milk, and salt to a small, heavy saucepan. Melt the butter and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring.
Add the flour and quickly stir in to incorporate. As the mixture pulls away from the pan and thickens, remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add eggs one at a time. Mix in completely before adding the next egg. Your mixture should be thick and smooth. Add cheeses, black pepper, tarragon and anchovy.
Using two spoons, form the incredibly sticky dough into 1 inch dollops, and space them about 1-2 inches apart. You can use your fingers to shape them into round blobs. Smaller is better.
Brush lightly with the milk mixture and pile a pinch of extra cheese on the top of each dough blob. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until they're puffed up and browned on the top. The original recipe says to leave them in the oven until they're well-browned, or the gougères might fall as they cool. But this has never been an issue for me the many times I've made them.
Serve these little puppies as is, or cut them in half to make decadent sliders. Brisket and a swipe of homemade mayo went over great one evening.