Monday, December 22, 2014

Cheese Puffs and what makes it feel like Christmas

It is funny the things that makes Christmas, Christmas for us.  My husband said it was when he is wrapping presents and watching football.  For me it is planning and baking for our Christmas Eve open house and sitting in my living room, quiet Christmas music playing and enjoying my Christmas decorations.

I have just a "few" things to decorate my house for Christmas.  One of my most treasured is the nativity my grandma made for me.  Grandma McFadden is basically blind.  She lost the sight in one eye and has limited sight in the other, so when she made this nativity for me 20 some years ago it was a group effort.  She stained the pieces of pottery and a friend painted in the lines for the eyes.  While the kids grew up, we lit the Nativity candle and said blessing before dinner every night from Thanksgiving to New years day.  I love my Nativity and the memories of my grandma it brings.

I also have some new decorations.  My Seattle DIL made this Mr. and Mrs. Clause for me.  I love having them in the living room overseeing all the activities and keeping an eye on the goings-on.  It is a new treasure to add to my trove.

I know Christmas isn't about the "stuff" we surround ourselves with, but, at least for me, the stuff is what helps to remind me of the love, commitment, and sacrifice the true meaning of Christmas is all about.

And because I like to plan...
These little puffs are an easy thing to make ahead and keep in the freezer for your party or when unexpected guests stop by.  Once frozen, you pop them into a big ziplock and they go from frozen to the oven to delicious puffs of light cheesy goodness.  They give you more time to enjoy your Christmas holiday, however you like to enjoy it.
Frozen puffs waiting to be bagged.

Parmesan and Herb Cheese Puffs
Sunset Magazine, Dec. 2014

1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
1.5 cups water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1.5 cups flour
6 large eggs
1/2 pound parmesan cheese, grated in a food processor, divided
2 tsp. each minced fresh chives, dill, parsley and rosemary

Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a medium sucepan, bring butter, slat and water to boil over medium high heat.  Add flour and stir constantly until dough comes together and pulls away from pan, 1 to 1.5 minutes.  Remove from heat; let cool 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until eggs are incorporated and dough is glossy.  Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheese.  In a small bowl, combine herbs, then stir 1.5 Tbsp. into dough.

Line rimmed baking sheets with parchement paper.  spoon dough onto sheets by 4-tsp. portions - I use my medium scooper, about 1 inch apaprt.  Combine remaining cheese and herbs then sprinkle onto dough.

Bake 1 or 2 sheets at a time, switching positions halfway through baking until puffs are deep golden, about 30-35 minutes.  With a small knife, poke each puff at the waist to release steam.  Bake until crisp and richly browned, 5-8 minutes more.  Serve warm.

Make ahead: portion puffs, top with cheese and herbs then freeze.  Once frozen, place in zip top bag and keep in freezer until ready to use.  Bake frozen straight from the freezer.

1 year ago:   Buckeyes and the Early Morning Scare
2 years ago:  White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn
3 years ago:  Espresso Martini and Last Minute Christmas lists

December 22, 2014   Sunrise 10:59 am  Sunset 2:40 pm  Temp: H -2/ L -4°F

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment or share an idea. Hearing from you really brightens my day.