If you love to entertain, this is a great recipe to know by heart. Not only are these crisp little cheese puffs easy to freeze and bake off at a moment's notice, no one can turn them down. These light and airy puffs are delicious on their own and even better filled with tangy Ham Salad.


Credit: Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins
1 hr
Serves 10


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne in a small bowl. Bring water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high, stirring to melt butter. Remove from heat; add flour mixture all at once, and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and thick, like mashed potatoes. Transfer to large bowl, and let stand 3 minutes. Beat dough with an electric mixer on low speed until dough no longer steams and is just warm to the touch, about 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on medium-high speed until dough is smooth and creamy after each addition. Add cheese, and beat until combined.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Use a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop or 2 spoons to portion dough into walnut-size mounds (about 1 tablespoon) 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and continue baking until Cheese Puffs are puffed, deep golden brown, and dry to the touch, 15 to 20 more minutes. (They should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.)

  • Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes; split with a serrated knife. Spoon about 1 tablespoon Ham Salad into each, and replace the tops. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

Reheat baked Cheese Puffs in a 300°F oven 5 to 10 minutes before filling and serving, or freeze unbaked mounds until solid; then transfer to ziplock plastic freezer bag. Bake frozen Cheese Puffs at 350°F, increasing baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.