Cheese Puffs with Cream Cheese Filling

20140719_142707_20140928114532517_20140928114650808This picture really doesn’t do these little balls of cheesy goodness justice. They look like faceless PacMen here, but trust me when I say these are a GREAT canape/starter. They have a crispy outside, and a cheesy, choux pastry-like inside. I have always heard that choux pastry was really tricky, but these little gems were super easy to make. In hindsight, I probably could have piped the mixture into nice, uniform little circles, but casually blobbing down small teaspoonfuls of mixture was my style on this particular day. The other great thing about these guys is that they reheat beautifully in the oven, so you can make them the day (or two) before you want them, and then reheat them an hour or so before your guests arrive. I even cut them and fill them with the cream cheese before reheating them, so the cream cheese is warm and gooey as well. YUM.

Cheese Puffs with Cream Cheese Filling

* from PnP Fresh Living

375ml milk
125g butter
1tsp salt
1.5 cups flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tub cream cheese
salt and pepper
chives or parsley
makes approx. 50 bitesize puffs

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bring the butter, milk to a boil in a large saucepan, and then remove from the heat and beat in all the flour until it’s well mixed. Put the saucepan back on the heat (turn down to low) and stir the mixture until it comes together to form a ‘ball’ of dough. This doesn’t take long – a minute or two at most. Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool a little, and then beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir through the grated mature cheddar (it really does need to be strong, mature cheddar, so don’t skimp on that), and drop spoonfuls onto a baking paper-lined baking sheet. Or many baking sheets. If you are lucky enough to have a large oven that fits multiple baking sheets side by side, lucky you. This will save you some time. Sprinkle a little extra grated cheese on the raw puffs, and then bake for 20min. That’s if you did small teaspoons of mixture. If you did larger teaspoonfuls, they might need a bit longer. As soon as they come out of the oven, pierce each one with a toothpick to let the steam out – this prevents them from getting soggy on the inside. Then once they are cool, beat the cream cheese with some salt and pepper, and chopped chives or parsley, and fill the puffs to your liking.

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