Heat water, sugar, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Let dough cool for 2 minutes then whisk in eggs, one at a time, until shiny and smooth. Set aside. (recipe note #1)
To make sugar glaze, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar dissolves, about one minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Scoop dough onto baking sheet with small cookie scoop (a leveled 1 tablespoon scoop is ideal). Or, scoop a walnut-size mound of dough with a teaspoon and, with a second teaspoon, scrape onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the dough mounds evenly apart, giving them a little room to spread. (Or pipe dough onto baking sheet with a ½-inch round tip.)
Brush dough mounds with sugar syrup then sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Turn oven off and crack the door open for 5 minutes before removing them (this should prevent the chouquettes from deflating). (recipe note #2) Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Don't be alarmed when the dough is lumpy as you add the eggs. Keep whisking (or stirring) vigorously and the dough will become smooth.
For chouquettes that are more crispy, pierce with a sharp knife immediately after removing from the oven to allow steam to escape.
Be sure to use Swedish pearl sugar as the Belgian variety is much larger and won't stick well.
To serve these as profiteroles, just slice in half crosswise and fill with custard, whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce if you like.
If you won't be eating all of these the same day you cook them, they freeze beautifully. Let cool, then transfer to freezer bag for up to one month. Two great options for reheating:
To reheat straight from the freezer: preheat oven to 350ºF then turn oven off. Arrange frozen chouquettes on ungreased baking sheet and, after you turn oven off, place in oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For a crispier version: Thaw at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Arrange thawed chouquettes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.