I made these for Thanksgiving (cheese version/gougeres) and used parchment brushed with clarified butter and sprinkled with a little Wondra. They released beautifully, lifted right off.
I was wondering what would happen if baked on a silpat, and why none of the recipes I looked at (from several different authors) mentioned silpats, perhaps you’ve answered my question. I’m speculating that the texture of the silpat allowed enough air beneath them to help form your indents.
I also noticed that the puffs that I piped in a rosette pattern formed a hollow in the bottom/middle, could that have contributed to your result as well?