1. Preheat oven to 450 degree F and arrange rack in middle of oven. Using two 12-cup nonstick mini-popover pans, butter 8 cups per pan, spacing to allow for even baking.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, cumin, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk, chives, and butter in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Divide batter between prepared cups, filling them three-quarters full.
3. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degree F and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove popovers from pan and serve immediately. (Can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven up to 30 minutes.) Makes 16 servings.