black sesame cayenne + rosemary parmesan gougères

Makes about 5 dozen 1-inch puffs

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook

8 tablespoons butter (one stick)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Bring the butter, water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat as soon as it boils and mix in all the flour at once using a wooden spoon. Return to high heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and a thin film coats the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix until smooth and then divide the batter in half. Add the parmesan and rosemary to one batch and the black sesame seeds and cayenne pepper to the other batch.

Working with one flavor at a time, transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets making the mounds 1-inch in diameter. Fill a small bowl with water and using your finger, lightly tap the top of each puff to make a smooth top.

Bake the gougères for 12 minutes then reduce the heat to 375. Remove one sheet from the oven and pierce the side of each puff with a toothpick. This will release any extra steam and make the puffs extra yummy on the inside. Return to the oven and repeat with the second sheet. Contine to bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops are golden and the inside is no longer doughy.

Note: The baked puffs can be frozen for weeks and reheated at 375 for about 10 minutes just as the party begins to arrive. Less work for you! Warm treats for all!