The weekend is almost here. Do you have any big plans? If you are doing any entertaining and need something that is both easy and impressive, look no further than these delicious appetizers.
These cheesy, crispy puffs are French so they add instant panache to your appetizer spread. Plus, they have bacon and everything is better with bacon. They are light and airy with fluffy insides and, the best part, they are really easy to pull together.
Boil (yes, boil) some butter and water, stir in flour until you get a dough ball that somewhat resembles a thick roux, and then beat in eggs until you get the most beautiful and glossy batter you have ever seen. Fold in grated Gruyere cheese and crispy hunks of bacon and you are nearing appetizer nirvana.
Once these beauties come out of oven, all golden and crispy, do your best to wait until your guests arrive before you devour them.
Gougeres (aka French Cheese and Bacon Puffs)
Adapted from The Bacon Cookbook
1 cup water
8 tbls (1 stick) butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/2 pound slab bacon, rind removed, finely diced
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and beat with a wooden spoon till a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating with an electric mixer on high speed till the batter is just thick enough to hold soft peaks. Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill briefly.
In a large skillet, fry the bacon dice over moderate heat till crisp and drain on paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a large baking dish. Fold the cheese and bacon into the prepared batter till well blended, then drop by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake the puffs for 30 minutes, turn off the heat, and let the stand till they are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve the puffs warm.
Makes about 36 puffs. Serves 8-10 as appetizers (or 2 people who can’t stop eating the bacon-y deliciousness).