Filled Individual Gougeres

These French little bites are wonderful tasting and easier than you would think to make. They are a savory application of Cream Puffs.

Yield: 16 appetizers

Baking Temperature: 375 F
Baking Time: 30 minutes

9 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs
4 ounces Cheddar Cheese, divided
4 ounces ham, finely diced
4 teaspoons Escoffier sauce
1 Tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs

1. Cut 8 Tablespoons butter into pieces and put in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.

3. Turn into the small bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. After the last egg is worked into the paste, beat an additional 5 minutes or until quite well mixed.

4. Finely dice 3 ounces of the cheese, reserving the balance. Fold the diced cheese into the paste, reserving one third of the mixture. Spoon the remaining two-thirds of the paste into a pastry bag and force out into 16 mounds. With a moistened finger, imprint each.

5. Brown the ham in the remaining butter and add the sauce and mix well. Spoon ham into each and put a small spoonful of the remaining paste over the filling and smooth out. Grate the remaining cheese and sprinkle over each. Divide the bread crumbs among each, sprinkling on the top of each. Bake until golden or about 30 minutes.

Note: If you do not have a pastry bag, use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off it and place all the dough in the bag and squeeze as with a pastry bag.

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