Bacon, Corn and Cheddar Gougeres (cheese puffs)

This recipe has become a staple on our holiday and major
 celebration menus. The kids love them A LOT - adults devour them too.

6 slices flavorful bacon (hickory smoked or applewood)
2 ears of fresh corn
1 cup water
1 stick butter (1/4 pound) - if unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped chives

  1. Cook bacon, cool, chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Scrape kernels from corn and sauté in a small amount of leftover bacon fat until slightly browned. For the best technique on cutting corn, see the article here,
  3. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  4. In a large sauce pan combine water and butter, heat until butter melts.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add flour, mix until thoroughly combined. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  6.  Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg into the batter before adding the next. Critical method: use a fork to mix the egg into the batter. A whisk is too flexible and a wooden spoon doesn't incorporate the egg into the mixture fast enough.
  7. Add bacon, cheeses, chives and a generous grinding of fresh black pepper.
  8. Use two teaspoons to place mounds of the mixture onto 2 baking pans lined with a silicon mats. The batter yields about 40 pieces.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until gougeres are lightly browned on the bottom and golden atop.

Alternately, you can put the batter into a gallon sized ziplock bag. The dough holds well for a day or two in the fridge. Snip a corner of the zip lock bag and squeeze batter out the tip, like a pastry bag.

  • Use a fork for mixing the dough.
  • Use high quality, extra sharp cheddar. This recipe will be bland if you don't.
  • Use high quality Parmigiano. Same thing - it will be bland otherwise.
  • Frozen corn can be substituted for fresh with minimal loss of flavor.

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