Light and airy, these bite-size balls are reminiscent of a cheesy popover, but with a subtle (that is, kid-friendly) zip, courtesy of the cayenne pepper.
Heat the oven to 400° F. Lightly coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth paste.
With the wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time, blending completely each time. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and minced chives or scallions.
Using a tablespoon, drop balls of batter onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the puffs are firm and well browned. Serve them warm or at room temperature. Makes 30 to 40 puffs.