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Chef John's Party Cheese Puffs


These spicy, cheesy, herb-filled appetizers are perfect for your next party or gathering. This recipe serves a crowd and comes together in about 40 minutes to adorn your appetizer table with a sure-fire hit filled to the brim with melty cheese. But, be warned, these appetizers go fast, so consider doubling the recipe.

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (7 Votes)


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar or Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


Servings 12
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 40mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

Stir water, butter, and salt together in a pot; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and whisk flour into butter mixture until a paste-like dough forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer dough to a bowl to cool until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Whisk 1 egg, thyme, and black pepper into cooled dough until egg is completely incorporated. Add remaining egg and whisk until completely incorporated into dough. Stir 3/4 the cheese into dough until combined. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Top each with remaining cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and puffed, 15 to 20 minutes.

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