Mahjong Snacks: Savory Chive Gougeres


Last night, we headed over to our friends place to play mahjong. It’s been years since I’ve seen a mahjong tile and I wasn’t sure how I would do. I considered making some snacks to take along with us but the day turned out to be busy, and I never had a chance to make anything.

I wanted to experiment with choux pastry and make either cream puffs or gougeres. After reading Dorie Greenspan’s recipe, it became clear that I could make part of a batch and freeze the rest for future baking. Although I’m a day late with the batch I made tonight, I have some stashed in the freezer for our next mahjong game.


Surprisingly, the pillowy puffs of dough are quick and easy to make. It begins with a mix of milk, water, and butter which is brought up to a boil. Flour is added and cooked for 2-3 minutes. The dough is placed into a mixer and eggs whipped in. Once the dough becomes thick and silky, grated cheese is stirred in. I also added 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives for an extra bit of flavor.

I placed the dough into a ziploc bag and snipped one corner — a quick and simple pastry bag. Pipe dough into 1 tablespoon balls at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 25-30 minutes and you’re done!

I used an equal mix of gruyere and smoked caciocavallo. The smoked cheese is quickly becoming my favorite — I’ve used it on pasta, as a snack, and now in these gougeres. The smokey flavor is light in the puffs and just the right amount.


The gougeres turn out crisp on the outside and filled with air on the inside. I served them alongside some fresh berries to offset their slight richness. I can imagine these would be good filled with a creamy savory filling, like salmon mousse or a bit of pate.

Fortunately, even without these snacks, I did ‘ok’ playing mahjong. I learned enough of the rules and strategy so I could manage the game for a couple hours. Shockingly, I even won a hand or two – thank goodness though that it was a casual, training session. Next time, we’ll be playing for money … so, I made need to make a few more treats to distract and disarm our friends.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Arundathi March 31, 2009, 1:29 am

    Allen, those look incredible! I’ve tried several gougere recipes but never got the empty interior – this one’s next on the list.

  • Peter G March 31, 2009, 5:27 am

    Allen, I’m very impressed with these…It’s always been hit and miss with me and choux pastry…the cheese in them sounds divine!

  • Patricia Scarpin March 31, 2009, 6:32 am

    Oh, my goodness, Allen – these look so light and delicious! I love anything cheese, it’s time I tried gougeres.

  • Peter March 31, 2009, 6:56 am

    Those airy insides of the Gougeres have sold me. Looks like you’re adjusting very well to Canadian life, EH?

  • RecipeGirl March 31, 2009, 7:41 am

    Those are gorgeous little snacks. They’d make for good Poker food too for the guys at my house!

  • kat March 31, 2009, 8:09 am

    I could certainly pop a bunch of those beauties into my mouth easily! I was also surprised at how easy they are to make & the freezing trick just makes them so easy to have on hand!

  • Ginny March 31, 2009, 10:18 am

    I should not be looking at your blog while hungry! Yummy! :)

  • Gera @ SweetsFoods March 31, 2009, 10:49 am

    Allen very interesting and informative post!

    The gougers looks so airy and cheesy, literally :)

    They must taste divine; remember a similar “snack” the “pan de queso in Spanish” or bread-cheese, when I eat them in breakfasts.


  • Lisa March 31, 2009, 11:12 am

    Allen, these look just perfect! I’ve made Gougeres before and they are one of my favorite snacks. I love the ziploc trick too. My dad passed that tip onto me and it’s a quick and easy solution for a handy pastry bag.

  • Queenie March 31, 2009, 2:20 pm

    OH YUMMY – maybe we should have played mahjong when you were in the bay area!

  • Natalie March 31, 2009, 7:00 pm

    Those look wonderful and delicious!

  • Allen March 31, 2009, 8:53 pm

    Thanks for all of the kind comments – these gougeres were delicious.

    I forgot about the ones I placed in the freezer last night and just bagged them up for future use. I formed them in a tray on a piece of parchment paper, then placed in the freezer until frozen solid. Place the frozen blobs into a bag for future use!

  • helen April 1, 2009, 2:03 am

    MJ – I really hope to pick it up again. I was taught by a Flemish guy, and it was a lot of fun, especially with food, beer and for money.

  • brilynn April 1, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Those look awesome! I’ve had mixed results when trying to make gougeres and cream puffs, I should try it again soon.

  • Christie @ Fig & Cherry April 1, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Absolutely beautiful Allen! I love your suggestion of salmon mousse inside. And two types of cheese makes it so decadent.

    I’ve never made choux pastry, but you’ve inspired me, thanks! :)

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 1, 2009, 9:35 pm

    Perfect timing — the chives are just coming up in my garden, and it’s been years since I made gougeres, so I’m bookmarking.

  • Giff (Constables Larder) April 7, 2009, 11:01 am

    have never made these. I think that should change. They look fabulous.

  • fleur March 9, 2010, 11:11 am

    Hi! My first visit. I make gougeres alot for ‘nibbles’ – I add (shudder) shreded Velveeta!! Yum. I like the cheeses you used and the chives. Will try to find the smoked one. But where is the recipe?

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