This Oct. 19, 2015 photo shows blue cheese and mushroom gougeres in Concord, N.H. If you're entertaining, you can't totally slack off. You just need to marry your need for fatty comforting carbs with something dressy enough to serve in polite company. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This Oct. 19, 2015 photo shows blue cheese and mushroom gougeres in Concord, N.H. If you're entertaining, you can't totally slack off. You just need to marry your need for fatty comforting carbs with something dressy enough to serve in polite company. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Entertaining this holiday season? You need our cheese puffs

  • By ALISON LADMAN
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2015 3:05pm
  • LifeFood

It’s holiday entertaining season, so we say bring on the fat and carbs!

After all, navigating the minefield of office parties and in-laws and dinner parties and cookie swaps (when you’d rather be on the couch with Netflix and a pint of ice cream) requires a bit of comfort food (not to mention a stiff drink, but that’s another recipe for another time). Still, if you’re entertaining, you can’t totally slack off. You just need to marry your need for fatty comforting carbs with something dressy enough to serve in polite company.

So we give you blue cheese and mushroom cheese gougeres. Or just call them cheese puffs; they’re delicious no matter what you call them. They’re basically dough balls studded with chopped mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese. They are delicious right from the oven or at room temperature. And as an entertaining bonus, they can be prepped ahead and frozen on the baking sheet. Just add a few minutes baking time when you’re ready to cook them off.

Blue cheese and mushrooms not your style? Substitute pretty much any cheese you like, ditch the mushrooms, add fresh herbs or scallions. Whatever. It all works.

And while your mother-in-law or boss may judge you, we promise to look the other way if you feel the need to power eat these like popcorn during the party. Our gougeres are a judgment-free zone.

Blue Cheese and
Mushroom Gougeres

Start to finish: 50 minutes

Makes 25 to 30

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

8 ounces mixed mushrooms, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

Kosher salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

Ground black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the mushrooms, shallots and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium, combine the remaining 7 tablespoons butter, the water, milk and a hefty pinch of each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then add the flour all at once. Stirring with a wooden spoon, mix well and continue to cook until the mixture becomes a ball that separates from the pan, 1 to 2 minutes.

Scoop the dough ball into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to allow the mixture to cool slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between additions. Stir in the reserved mushroom mixture and the blue cheese. Scooping by the tablespoonful, place walnut-sized dollops on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2 inches of space between each.

Alternatively, transfer the dough into a large zip-close plastic bag. Snip off one of the lower corners and pipe (squeeze) the mixture into place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories; 45 calories from fat (64 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 3 g protein.

Alison Ladman is a chef, food writer and recipe developer for The Associated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire.

More in Life

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A tasty project to fill the quiet hours

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer

File
Minister’s Message: How to grow old and not waste your life

At its core, the Bible speaks a great deal about the time allotted for one’s life

Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Stephen McKinley Henderson appear in “Civil War.” (Promotional photo courtesy A24)
Review: An unexpected battle for empathy in ‘Civil War’

Garland’s new film comments on political and personal divisions through a unique lens of conflict on American soil

What are almost certainly members of the Grönroos family pose in front of their Anchor Point home in this undated photograph courtesy of William Wade Carroll. The cabin was built in about 1903-04 just north of the mouth of the Anchor River.
Fresh Start: The Grönroos Family Story— Part 2

The five-member Grönroos family immigrated from Finland to Alaska in 1903 and 1904

Aurora Bukac is Alice in a rehearsal of Seward High School Theatre Collective’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” at Seward High School in Seward, Alaska, on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward in ‘Wonderland’

Seward High School Theatre Collective celebrates resurgence of theater on Eastern Kenai Peninsula

These poppy seed muffins are enhanced with the flavor of almonds. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
The smell of almonds and early mornings

These almond poppy seed muffins are quick and easy to make and great for early mornings

Bill Holt tells a fishing tale at Odie’s Deli on Friday, June 2, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. Holt was among the seven storytellers in the latest session of True Tales Told Live, an occasional storytelling event co-founded by Pegge Erkeneff, Jenny Nyman, and Kaitlin Vadla. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion file)
Storytelling series returns with tales about ‘making the most of it’

The next True Tales, Told Live will be held Friday, April 12 at The Goods Sustainable Grocery starting at 6:30 p.m.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes they come back

This following historical incident resurfaced during dinner last week when we were matching, “Hey, do you remember when…?” gotchas

Art by Soldotna High School student Emily Day is displayed as part of the 33rd Annual Visual Feast at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Creating art and artists

Exhibition showcases student talent and local art programs

Most Read