photo credit: MarthaStewart.com

The title of this post comes from one of my lovely co-workers, Katy, who tried the hors d’oeuvres I brought to an office party and apparently fell in love (or at least in deep lust). Everybody say “Hello Katy!”.

Upon reviewing the list of potluck dishes for an upcoming baby shower, I could feel the diabetic coma starting in my (very cute) shoes and climbing to give me a sugar headache. One can only eat but so many cupcakes and the veggie platter just wasn’t feeling indulgent enough. Scrapping my idea for pink and blue cream puffs, it was Google to the rescue! Martha Stewart, harbinger of all things delicious and somehow pretentious and twee all at once, had a great recipe for Ham and Gruyere Thumbprints (pictured above). Perfect! It’s like a salty cookie with cheese, who wouldn’t like that?

But things couldn’t be that easy, could they? Of course not, don’t be silly. I had exactly $10 and no desire time to run to the grocery store, Add to that that some of my favorite people in the office are vegetarians, and time to re-think and revise. . Off to my favorite specialty shops, East Village Cheese Shop and Hudson Farmer’s Market. EVCS was out of the gorgeous fresh mozeralla they had on sale last week but the magical chalkboard tells me that low-fat low-salt gouda is only $2.99 / lb. Done and Done. The farmer’s market yields 1/2 lb of sundried tomatoes, again at $2.99/lb and bunches of scallions at 2 for a dollar.

Is your mouth watering yet? Maybe you need visual aids.

Scallion, Gouda, Sundried Tomato

Gouda: Smoky, Salty, Creamy

Next up, we make a pate a choux dough, a simple, almost batter like dough that yields a light, airy bite. When cooked at a very high, then a very low temperature, you’ll get a huge puff good for creampuffs, eclairs, or even fun little sandwiches. We’re pressing this down anyway, so a constant temp for the entire cooking time will suffice.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs (substituted 1c liquid egg from carton)
  • Per Martha, bring butter, salt and water to a boil, turn down heat then sift in flour and continue cooking until dough pulls away from the sides of the pot to form a soft ball. This will happen fast (1-2 minutes) so don’t get distracted! Cool in a bowl for a few minutes so you dont end up with scrambled eggs, then mix in the eggs one at a time.
    Stir in the mixins, 1c of shredded gouda, 1/4c finely chopped tomatoes and 1/4c scallions.

    Cooking Choux

    It smells so good already!

    Martha calls for the baker to pipe pretty little rosettes onto parchment or a silpat, but mind you, this all went down at 6am on a Tuesday morning. If i didn’t bother to change out of my pajamas, i’m not digging out a pastry bag. A spoon will suffice and is much faster.  Press a thumb into the center of each to make a little divot that we’re going to fill with more cheese and pop into the oven for 25-30minutes @ 400 degrees.

    Thumbprinting

    My house smells like cheese and onion!

    Before serving, place a cube of cheese in the center of each and warm until it melts. I don’t have pictures of the finished product because they were eaten super fast but trust, they were as pretty as they were yummy.

    The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it whatever you want it to be! Change the ingredients up to suit your tastes, just keep make the pastry properly and you can do anything.
    Some ideas:

    • Red onion & cheddar
    • Steak and provolone
    • Red pepper and blue cheese
    • Cool the puffs and top with chicken or crab salad

    Be creative! But most of all, enjoy. Love the tiny nuggets and they’ll love you back  ❤

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