My family has a tradition of spending Christmas Eve Day playing games together – card games, board games, rowdy act-it-out type games – all while snacking on our favorite appetizers. We munch on shrimp cocktail while shouting out trivia answers and nibble stuffed mushrooms while mulling over our domino strategy. Each year the collection of games (and finger foods) changes a little bit, but I love that we’re making memories together while we snack. This year, I’m introducing Red Pepper Asiago Gougere Bites. These little "guys" are cheesy, savory and perfect for popping in your mouth (in between charade guesses, of course)!
Begin by getting all of your supplies out. The recipe prep goes quickly, so you’ll want to have your ingredients ready to rock and roll. Rinse the red pepper and fresh basil, and get it all chopped up. I also measured out my flour, garlic and salt into a bowl so they would be easy to dump in. Now begin preheating the oven to 400° F.
Pour the water into a 2-quart saucepan and add the butter. Bring the mixture to a full boil. The recipe says this will take 6-8 minutes, but it seemed to go even faster for me, so that’s where having your ingredients ready comes in handy. After the water/butter mix has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add your flour, garlic and salt.
Stir the batter up – it will get very sticky. When it’s completely mixed, the dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl to make a ball. That’s when it’s time to remove the pan from the heat completely.
Add one egg at a time, beating the mixture well. If you’ve ever made cream puffs before, this process will feel very familiar!
After all 4 eggs have been added and the dough is smooth, it’s time to add the asiago cheese.
…And your chopped red pepper and fresh basil. But, really, this is where you could get creative. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have fresh peppers and basil, you could customize your Gougere Bites with other favorite herbs. Try parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning or cheddar and chives.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets. I used both my regular baking sheets (which should have been sprayed first, because the bites stuck!) and air-bake sheets which did much better. Regardless, you get a lot of tiny appetizers out of this little batch, so be ready with pans!
Sprinkle each Gougere Bite with a little cheese, then pop them in the oven.
Bake for 20-22 minutes until they are golden brown. Then remove from the oven and serve the Red Pepper Asiago Gougere Bites immediately. These tasty little cheese poppers cool quickly, so get ‘em while they’re hot!
The bites were so yummy, I just might bring them along to our New Year’s party next week! Try Red Pepper Asiago Gougere Bites at your next holiday event, then rate and review the recipe online.
Come back in a few days when Alex will share another great appetizer.
Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.