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Gougeres

(French Cheese Puffs)

Makes 3 dozen

8 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

¾ cup milk, divided

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup flour

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine butter, ½ cup of the milk and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and, when butter has melted, remove pan from heat. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a thick dough and pulls away from the sides of the pan, 1-2 minutes. Return pan to heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Let dough cool to room temperature, then beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated into mixture and dough is smooth after each addition. Dough should be thick, glossy, and smooth. Add 1 cup of the cheese and beat in until well combined.

Spoon tablespoon–size mounds of dough on nonstick baking sheets, leaving about 1” between them. Brush tops with remaining ¼ cup milk, then sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake one tray at a time in lower third of oven until gougères have doubled in size and are golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.