Cheese Puffs (a la Julia Child)

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 40 pieces
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Cook 30 mins

A savory, cheesy side dish.

Be sure to cook the water, butter, flour mixture until it's difficult to stir and it forms a ball-like mass. This version is made without the use of a mixer.


4 to 5 eggs
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 to 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Break eggs into a small bowl. Beat lightly. Measure. You will need 1 cup of beaten egg.
  3. Combine butter, water, sugar, salt and cayenne in a large saucepan. Cook until mixture comes to a boil and butter melts. Remove from heat. Add flour all at once. Stir until smooth. Return to heat and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture forms a ball and clears the pan bottom and sides, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon 1 to 2 minutes to cool slightly. Form a well in the center of dough. Pour in 1/4 cup beaten eggs. Stir until smooth. (Mixture will look like it’s separating and will be lumpy. Stir vigorously until smooth.) Add another 1/4 cup eggs. Stir until smooth. Repeat with another 1/4 cup eggs and the final 1/4 cup. (Mixture should hold its shape when you scoop up a heaping spoonful.)
  5. Fold in cheese.
  6. Drop by tablespoons onto baking pans. Sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until browned and crispy. Leftover puffs can be frozen.



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