With all of the holiday parties, potlucks, and drop-in guests, who has time to prepare for all of them? Scrambling to cook something at the last minute isn’t the answer, but having the French cheese puffs known as gougères in your arsenal can be a lifesaver during the holidays. You can freeze a bunch and bake them off as you need them.
The dough is basically an unsweetened cream puff dough that the French call choux pastry, but it’s the simplest pastry dough you can imagine: You bring water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then you dump your flour in all at once and take it off the heat. Stir it until it makes a smooth thick paste, and then continue to cook it over low heat for a minute or so, then beat in your eggs. Stir in grated cheese, and just about any flavorings you like, and there’s your dough.
Then you scoop the dough onto parchment paper, and then put these straight in the freezer on the baking sheet. After about an hour, the gougères will be frozen solid and you can transfer them to zip-top freezer bags or a storage container. And you can freeze them like this for up to a month.
Now, anytime you need some party food, you can just pull what you need from the freezer and bake it. If you’re just having a few friends over, grab a handful, or for a big party, grab them all. The gougères pair perfectly with a glass of wine or champagne, or just add a vegetable platter and some nice charcuterie, and you’ve got yourself an amazing party spread.