April 4, 2013

Ham and Cheese Puffs

I'm sorry. I don't think I have any witty anecdotes for you today. I'm out. I'm not used to this three times a week thing. My brain insists that I'm done. I got nothin'.

Well, except when I was typing up Bossman's 45 pages of secure document storage box labels (don't ask me what he was doing at the time. Trust me, you don't want to know. >_<) and I came across one labeled "BS Summary" and that amused me for like 15 minutes straight.

That's all I got. Nothing more to say.


Zombie unicorns.


I'm really done now.
The first time I made these ham and cheese puffs was before Hurricane Sandy. Because I deal with impending doom by baking. I'm so gonna be one of the first people to die in the zombie apocalypse, aren't I?

Anyway, I baked them on that Saturday, and then they were gone by the next day. Because these are happy little 2-bite puffs of airy scrumdillyumptiousness. (That's a technical term)

They're airy like a popover, but savory like a biscuit. Then you've got the salty ham and the gooey cheese. They taste homey and comforting, but at the same time, they seem all fancy and delicate. Then you take a bite and it's like you've got a choir of angels singing on your tastebuds.
These are great for a brunch, or they work well as an hors d'oeuvre. You can be fancy and make them with prosciutto (which is fantabulous), or you can whip them up as a way to use up that leftover Easter ham. Seriously, they work for any occasion. Picnics, weddings, tea parties, sports gatherings, they are extremely versatile. You've got no reason not to make them.

Unless you're vegan. Then I can't help you.

Ham and Cheese Puffs {Printable Version}
Yield: 30 puffs

½ cup milk
½ cup water
½ cup butter
¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
¼ tsp. ground mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp. dried rosemary

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the milk, water, butter, pepper, and mustard until the butter is fully melted. Increase the heat to high and heat until boiling. Stir in flour and reduce heat to low. Beat about 1 minute, until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition until smooth and glossy. Stir in ham, ¾ cup of cheese, and the rosemary.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets by the tablespoonful, leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F and bake 7-10 minutes more until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe adapted slightly from Gold Medal Best Baking Recipes magazine