Well, we didn’t wake up to snow this morning, much to the disappointment of my children. So much for the colored ice cubes we have waiting in the freezer—we’ll have to have our cube-hunt some other day. Everything is icy and sleet-crusted. Good day for indoor projects.
My 9 year old has been after me for a few days now to teach her how to make cream puffs and éclairs. So we got 6 year old busy painting and 2 year old busy paint-with-water-ing and the two of us had fun making choux pastry. We had such a blast that the resulting pastries were just an added bonus! Delicious!
Here’s the recipe: Choux Pastry (Choux is French for “puff”)
- Preheat oven to 400*F and grease two cookie sheets.
- Measure 1 cup flour into small bowl.
- In a saucepan, put the following ingredients: 1 cup flour, ¾ tsp. salt, 7 TB butter. Heat on low to medium heat until the butter melts and mixture begins to bubble.
- Remove saucepan from heat and add the flour all at once. Beat batter vigorously with wooden spoon till all the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Let cool for 2 minutes.
- Beat 4 eggs. Add them to the batter gradually, beating well between additions. Beat with fork or wooden spoon till mixture is smooth and almost shiny looking.
- Get a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch nozzle, or use a gallon sized Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Fill bag with batter and twist at top.
- Pipe rounds for cream puffs, 4 inch long mounds for éclairs, or pipe heart and flower shapes. Or wiggly snakes or spiders or whatever strikes your child’s fancy. We did all of the above.
- Brush the pastry with beaten eggs and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, till golden.
- Remove from oven, and place on cooling racks. When cool enough to touch, prick each one with a fork, then leave to finish cooling.
Slice the pastries in half with a serrated knife and spread with whipped cream. We used dream whip, because I had an emergency stash of it in the cupboard. Comes in handy when you want to make these types of things and have no heavy whipping cream in the refrigerator! Also, I substitute powdered milk/water for the milk in the dream whip, and it turns out great.
The last step is frosting them with a chocolate glaze.
- Put 2 TB butter and 1 cup (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips into a saucepan over low heat until they melt.
- Stir in 3 TB water, remove from stovetop and add ¾ cup powdered sugar. Stir until smooth.
- Spread icing on pastries with a spatula. Store these in the refrigerator. If you’re not planning on eating them the same day, wait till an hour or so before serving to add the whipped cream.
Sometimes we put fresh fruit inside the cream puffs with the whipped cream…it’s mmm mm good!