Ham and Gruyere Thumbprints
- Yield: Makes 3 dozen
Source: MSL Cookbook Vol. 2; The New Classics
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped or ground Black Forest ham (2 ounces)
- 1 cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese, plus 36 cubes (1/2 inch) for centers (8 ounces total)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring butter, salt, and the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally (butter will melt). Add flour; stir vigorously until incorporated. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture pulls away from sides of pan and a thin film forms on bottom of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 2 minutes.
Transfer dough to a large bowl; add eggs 1 at a time, beating with a wooden spoon to incorporate each before adding the next, about 2 minutes. Stir in pepper, ham, and shredded cheese.
Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip. On a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper, pipe 1 1/2 inches wide rosettes, 1 inch apart. Make a deep indentation at the center of each with your thumb (dampen thumb to keep it from sticking to dough). Bake until crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.Transfer thumbprints to a wire rack to cool completely. Press a cheese cube into indentation of each.
Place on clean baking sheets; freeze (uncovered) until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer to an airtight container; freeze until ready to use, up to 6 weeks.
To serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place thumbprints on ungreased baking sheets; bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve warm.