Around here, the holidays aren't complete without a batch or two of gougeres browning in the oven or waiting for an occasion in the freezer. These little cheese puffs are deceptively simple to make, perfect with a glass of Champagne, and are sure to please a crowd.

I like this Alain Ducasse recipe that was printed in Food and Wine magazine years ago. One tweak I make is to add an egg-white wash to the top before sprinkling with cheese for a bit of color and shine. I sometimes swap the nutmeg for a pinch of cayenne and it's fun to play around with the cheeses (smoked gouda, anyone?).

Make them ahead of time, piping out the dough and freezing the individual choux, so they're ready to pop into the oven just before guests arrive. Or you can freeze the cooked gougeres and warm them up, as recommended in the recipe.

Make them once and they'll become a party staple--at the holidays and year-round.

December 04, 2023 — Christy Hobart

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