Café Johnsonia's Herbed Gruyere Thumbprints

As far as I'm concerned, these are the find of the season. Totally awesome and your guests will gobble them down in no time at all. Doubt you could ever make too many! But the best part? You make them anytime up to six weeks in advance, freeze them, and pop them in the oven at the last minute so your guests will have hot, crunchy, cheesy little bites of heaven. 

Café Johnsonia's Herbed Gruyere Thumbprints
From Cafe Johnsonia

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
½ tsp. coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs—thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley
36 ½” cubes Gruyere (8 oz.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Get everything ready to go. Prepare your cookie sheets (you'll need two) and a silpat works best. Chop your herbs and grate your cheese.

Bring butter and salt and 1 cup water to a boil in large saucepan. Add flour. Stir vigorously until incorporated. Cook about 2  minutes or until mixture pulls away from sides and a thin film forms on bottom of pan. Remove from heat, let cool 2 minutes.
Place dough in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon to incorporate each egg before adding the next, about 2 minutes. This takes some elbow grease, but it eventually comes together. Stir in pepper, herbs, and finely shredded cheese.

This is what I did: I sifted a very light coating of flour on the silpat. Then took one of my round cookie cutters (I used the 2 inch one...your choice) and marked rounds on the baking mat. So I then had a nice pattern to follow when piping. I piped 1 ½” wide rosettes 1” apart. After all the dough has been piped onto the baking mat, make a deep indentation in center with dampened thumb. (Use a small bowl of cold water to wet your thumb) Bake until crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Cut your gruyere into small cubes.
Press a cheese cube into each indentation.
Place on a clean baking sheet. Freeze uncovered until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer to an airtight container. Freeze up to 6 weeks.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place thumbprints on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted—10 to 14 minutes.

Here's a nice kicker: if you're not 100% on board with making pâte à choux or using a pastry bag, go HERE for step by step photos and instructions.


  1. So cute to boot..Thanks Barbara..

  2. They look very pretty and delicious!



  3. this is a little bit more work than i like to do, but what a payoff! LOVE gruyere and they look super classy. :)

  4. These would make a really great appetizer!!!

  5. I bet it is impossible to one eat one. :)

  6. I love them and especially the freezer part. Recipes like this go on my list immediately!

  7. I remember saving this very recipe recently! I'm hoping to make these for a Thanksgiving appetizer! They look wonderful.

  8. Having these in the freezer would be like money in the bank! Love the thought of being able to bake these at the last minute, and they look great with thyme leaves.

  9. Look absolutely yumm Barbara !!

  10. HI Barbara, I am TOTALLY on board with this, pate a choux, pastry bag and all. Recently made a bunch of white cheddar gougeres for a party. I am crazy about this variation. You are right; it may well be The Find of the season. Mille grazie!



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