Monday, February 22, 2010

Pâte á Choux

For the first time in ages, we made cream puffs, and remembered how much we liked them. In fact, I was told they were as good as the frozen ones you get at Costco (which is high praise considering who said it!!). Michelle wants to make them for the bake sale next week, and since the big brothers won't be able to enjoy them, I thought I'd at least post the directions so they can make them for themselves. Have fun!
Start by melting a cube of butter or margarine in a medium saucepan.Add a cup of water and bring to a rolling boil.Stir in 1 cup of flour and a pinch of salt and keep stirring over the heat until it all sticks together in a ball. Then remove from the stove and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes. Add an egg and beat it until it's all incorporated. This takes at least a couple of minutes. Then add another egg and do it again.Do this twice more (for a total of 4 eggs) until you have a nice, thick dough.Plop it by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Leave some room in between. The larger your spoonfuls, the larger your puffs will be. The recipe said it made 10, but I used my cookie scoop and got 30.Bake at 400° for about 18 minutes for these smaller ones (30 for the normal size).See why they're called cream puffs?When they've cooled down, split in half and fill with whatever. This time I made a box of instant vanilla pudding using 1 1/2 cups milk and then stirred in about 1 cup of cool whip. You could use plain whipped cream, plain pudding, fruit pie filling, or even chicken salad (which is what we did for my aunt's wedding reception). But they don't really taste very good at all with nothing inside. Then you can dust the top with powdered sugar and watch them disappear.


Here's the recipe:
Cream Puffs
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add water; bring to boiling. Add flour and salt all at once; stir vigorously. Cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate. Remove from heat; cool slightly, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until smooth. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls three inches apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Split and fill with whipped cream, pudding, ice cream, or fruit mixture. Makes 10. (You can find the recipe for Almond Cream Custard, which makes a great filling, here.)

Note: to make éclairs, spoon dough into pastry tube with a large tip and pipe strips of dough onto the baking sheet, making them about four inches long. After baking, fill with pudding and frost with a chocolate glaze. Makes 12-14.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness- those look SO yummy! We'll definitely have to give that a try. :) I think my cravings have shifted from fruits and vegetables to sugar and fat!

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  2. Yum!! I have never tried making them, but they're so good!

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