Ham and Gruyere Thumbprints

3 dozen

Each of these savory pastries include a bit of Black Forest ham and Gruyere.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup finely chopped or ground Black Forest ham (2 ounces)

  • 1 cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese, plus 36 cubes (½ inch) for centers (8 ounces total)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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