The holidays are definitely on the way. But what should you make for the holiday’s, Mexican Tea Cakes, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, Fruit Cake, Yule Log, or Gingerbread? Well how about trying something a little different. How about Cream Puffs? I know they seem hard and you don’t even have a piping bag. Do not worry. Cream puffs (éclair dough, pate a choux) are much easier to make then you think, and if you have a plastic bag or muffin tin you will be just fine.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a measuring cups, a heat proof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, a sauce pan, a mini muffin tin, a small scooper (two spoons will also work), the stove and the oven.
If you are not allowed to use the stove or the oven by yourself, you can ask an adult for help.
If you would like to add a little sweetness to your cream puffs you can add 1 Tbl sugar and 1 tsp vanilla to your recipe. If you would like your cream puffs to be a little savory you can add ¼ tsp salt to your recipe.
Fill your sweet cream puffs with flavored pastry cream, flavored whip cream, mousse, custard, pudding, jam, chocolate, ice cream or your favorite fillings. You can also top your cream puffs with ganache, hot fudge, nuts, powdered sugar or your favorite toppings.
Savory cream puffs can be filled with tuna, egg, ham, or chicken salad. Or fill your cream puffs with hummus, flavored goat cheese, make BLT’s or use your favorite toppings.
ChefElla’s Cream Puffs (36 Mini Cream Puffs or 12 Large Cream Puffs or Eclairs)
1 Cup Water
½ Cup Butter, Unsalted (1 stick)
1 Cup A.P. Flour
4 ea. Eggs
1 ea. Vanilla Ice Cream (1 pint)
1 ea. Hot Fudge (1 small jar or you can make your favorite recipe)
As Needed Candy Topping (I used crushed peppermint candy for my recipe.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 450F.
4. Measure out all of your ingredients. Add water and butter to your sauce pan. Place the pan on the stove on high heat.
5. When the water and butter come to a boil add the flour to the pan. Mix vigorously until the mixture looks like play dough. This would be the time you would add sugar and vanilla, or salt to your cream puff dough.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 egg to the flour mixture. Mix vigorously until the mixture looks like play dough again. Repeat the process with each remaining egg. Yes, your arm will get tired, and yes it may look like the egg will not mix into the flour but keep mixing and it will all come together.
7. Spray your mini muffin tin with pan spray or grease with butter. Scoop the cream puff batter about two tablespoons into each muffin tin.
8. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 8 minutes at 450F. Leave the cream puffs in the oven and turn the temperature down to 350F. Bake for 12 minutes or until the puffs are a light gold color. Remove from the oven and take the cream puffs out of the pan to cool. Repeat the process until all of the dough is gone.
OPTION 1: If you are making large puffs you can use a large scoop and muffin tin. Bake at 450F for 10 minutes and then turn down to 350F for another 10 minutes.
OPTION 2: If you would like to make eclairs place the dough in a pastry bag or gallon re-sealable bag (cut a ½ inch hole in the corner of the bag). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and with a marker, draw 4 inch lines on the paper, about 3 inches apart. Turn the paper over and pipe your cream puff dough along each line. Bake your eclairs at 375F for about 30 minutes. For mini eclairs just make smaller lines and cut a smaller hole in your bag. Your baking time will be about ½.
9. When your cream puffs cool, fill or top them as you wish. For eclairs fill with your favorite filling and top with chocolate, our use your favorite toppings.
ChefElla’s helpers can help by:
Measuring the ingredients
Scooping the dough into the muffin tins
Topping and filling the cream puffs
Older helpers can help by:
Mixing in the eggs
Piping the dough
Baking the cream puffs