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Holidays for me are a little less set. My parents are divorced and my sisters live in Oregon with their mother so.... we reschedule holidays! Mom gets the real holidays, Dad gets a day near the holidays, and my sisters get the first day I see them before or after a holiday. So now that you're assured I'm crazy in a whole other way, I'll say it one more time: This weekend is Christmas!
I spent most of this last weekend shopping for presents for my little sisters. If you remember the kinds of gifts you wanted at 16 and 18....well, it's going to be a bit hard to convince either Jacob or Edward to show up with a bow on their head. Once you rule teenage heartthrobs out, it's a whole other ball game. What else is there? Clothes, shoes, candy with screaming children nearby, and pain killers, lots of them, full of caffeine that kept me up until 5 am.
A few good things came out of being wide awake all night: I read all of Alice in Wonderland, came up with a FUN present plan, and made gougeres for whenever I would wake up if I ever in fact fell asleep.
Gougeres are one of my favorite things to make. They are simple, fast (thought I had plenty of time), delicious, light as air, and one of the few things I don't feel guilty eating ten of in one sitting. Though shown here are the regular puffs, you can make four inch wide puffs for sandwiches, which I'll show you as a post when I'm back from my vacations. Don't hate me for being a tease, I just had too much time to think, and not enough stores open at 4 am to make them with!
So with that, a Merry Christmas to me, and an enjoy the gougeres to you! If you have any theme candy ideas from major world capitols let me know! I'll be gathering them through Wednesay!
Cheddar Dill Gougères
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup skim milk
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Large pinch of kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. dill, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Add the flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan, and dries out a bit. Roughly two minutes.
Turn the dough out into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each one. Add the cheddar cheese, dill and pepper.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a half inch tip (or a disposable bag with the tip cut off) and pipe tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets at least two inches apart.
Sprinkle with cheese and additional dill. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.
The gougers can be frozen or refrigerated. To reheat, cook in an 350 degree oven for at least five minutes, or until piping hot and crisped.