Hazelnut Profiteroles with Blue Cheese

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Ingredients
½ cup hazelnuts
1 cup milk
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Frangelico or other nut-flavored liqueur
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Filling:
¼ pound blue cheese, such as Maytag, at room temperature
½ cup mascarpone
½ cup heavy cream

Procedure
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Put the hazelnuts on a small baking pan and roast them until the skins are blistered, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins.  Let the hazelnuts cool completely.  Put them in a food processor and finely grind them.

In a large saucepan, combine the milk with the butter, Frangelico, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the flour and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the ground hazelnuts and stir with a wooden spoon until a mass forms.  Return the saucepan to moderate heat and cook the dough, stirring, for 1 minute.  Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and let it cool for 2 minutes.  Using an electric mixer, beat in the eggs, one at time, beating well between additions. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip (or use a spoon) and pipe 1-inch mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.  Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining ground hazelnuts.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until the profiteroles are puffed and golden; shift the pans halfway through baking.  Poke a hole in the side of each puff to release the steam and let the puffs cool completely.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the blue cheese with the mascarpone and heavy cream at medium speed until firm and fluffy.  Using a serrated knife, split each puff horizontally and remove any doughy centers with a spoon.  Fill each puff with a tablespoon of the blue cheese mixture and replace the tops.

Make ahead:  The filling can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.  The baked puffs can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.  Recrisp in the oven before splitting, filling, and serving.

Makes 48