Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cream Puffs, a Blodgett Favorite!

 
Ruthy here!  Okay, do you love the bundled-up look???? That's because friends who shall go nameless MOCKED MY SUMMER TOP PIC because it was winter... and then winter carried on so long, I decided they were right. So here's my seasonally appropriate blogging pic!

I love cream puffs.

I've always loved cream puffs, and if you've never made these amazingly delicious stuffed egg pastries, you're in for a surprise:

They're easy.

I'm not kidding, I'm totally serious, it's a one-two-three kind of production. The only thing that takes time is stuffing the little suckers, but think of the finger lickin' good possibilities there!

Basically, you make cream puffs in three steps:

Make the puffs
Make the filling
Fill the puffs. 

Now here's a fun tip: The puffs can be made and frozen well ahead of time. They don't lose a bit of quality when defrosted, as long as they're securely wrapped. That's the fun of a "dry" pastry, they freeze beautifully.

Filling can be made the day ahead and chilled. Cream puffs are best if they're put together fresh, but if you need to do them the day ahead, go ahead.  BUT HIDE THEM!!!! YOU MUST PUT THEM INCOGNITO IN SOME CONTAINER THAT LOOKS LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE RAW CHICKEN OR SOMETHING OR THEY'LL FIND THOSE PUFFS AND EAT THEM!!!!



Egg puffs:  (heat oven to 400°)

1 cup water
1/2 butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Bring water and butter to a boil.


Stir in flour quickly. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat with spoon until smooth and shiny. Drop by small spoons full onto ungreased baking sheet for small puffs.  Bake at 400 until dry and golden-looking, about 35 minutes for large puffs and 20 - 25 for small puffs.



OR..... Drop by larger, 1/4 cup size for large, bakery-style cream puffs.

I do the small ones (two-bites) because my family thinks if you eat 6 little ones, it's way better for you than ONE BIG ONE...

Cool completely and either freeze or store in air-tight container.  (Puffs keep well).

Whipped cream filling:

(this is a NO BRAINER)

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar

Beat whipping cream and sugar on high until whipped cream is stiff... Stop before it turns to butter!!!!

:)

Custard filling:

2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch

Melt butter. Mix sugar and corn starch together, add to butter in saucepan.
Stir in:

2 cups milk
2 egg yolks

Whisk together and heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil and stir one minute. Remove from heat, stir in two teaspoons vanilla. Cool completely.  (If you don't like "skin" on your pudding, lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. This prevents the "fat" from rising and forming the skin... Now I love "skin", it's a favorite!!!  But I'm weird.

To fill cream puffs, you can either use a pastry tube, fill the bag, insert tube in side of puff and squeeze gently to fill puff.

OR....

You can slice the top off the puff, remove any pastry filaments inside, and stuff with whipped cream or pudding/custard.

GRATUITOUS FINN VIDEO!!!!!

Beth sent me a pic of Finn with ASHES yesterday....  But despite my best and lame efforts, I couldn't get it to upload to the computer and e-mailing pics to myself takes weeks.... so where are they for weeks? Scrambled in cyber-space????

Okay, BACK TO CREAM PUFFS.

Except you really should admire our ocean:


We now have assorted shells, a pod of Orca Whales, SPARKLE FISH!!!, and in our science books we have seahorses and sea urchins.

And did you know you can BUY SEAHORSES for $125 and up from a Seahorse Farm in Hawaii????

Think of that, a farm you can fit in your garage! AWESOME!!!!!


Now here's the things, (really back to cream puffs this time)  these are habit forming. And they're delicious. These could become a NATIONAL PASTTIME because they're that amazing.

I make them for holidays or family parties, showers, etc....  It's one of those things that if you've got the puffs in the freezer, all you have to do is make pudding.... or whipped cream... stuff and go!

You can top them with whipped cream (I think that's weird beyond words, but I've found people do that, Mary Connealy is one of them, and of course she's an odd little duck, but I want to make her feel good about herself. That's what friends are for....)

OR... you can sift confectioners (10X, powdered, a sugar by any other name is still a sugar!) over puffs.

OR (and this is our way) you make Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Frosting and use that on top of the puff:

Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

(Hershey's doesn't call for the salt, but I find it makes the recipe better)

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Mix in cocoa, salt, powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth and let cool.

ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS FROSTING THAT TAKES MAYBE 5 MINUTES TO MAKE.

And worth every moment, LOL!



Oh, man. HUNGRY.......



24 comments:

  1. My sister makes these! That's why I still speak to her. Just on the off chance she might make them sometime soon, I hide my usual annoying and caustic self.
    Kidding. She would still make these for me, even if she already knew the real me. She's just that nice.
    And the pic of Finn with his ashes would have been adorable! There was a baby at church tonight who should have been a Lenten meme with his little cross and dark curly hair. He was ADORABLE.

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    1. I was so bummed that the phone wouldn't upload. I GLARED at the machines, and they showed no mercy.

      Stupid electronic devices! Foiled again!!!

      Our service was so beautiful.... I love the meaning of Lent, the prayerfulness that tends to escape me and my Martha-ways.

      Just lovely. I would have loved the little guy at your church. Big smackin' KISS!!!!

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  2. I cheat and buy the frozen ones at the grocery store! this looks like way too much work LOL!
    Susanna who's trying to read your new book but work keeps interrupting me making me cranky..sigh...

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    1. Oh, Susanna, this is not work... this is a labor of love, and the supermarket frozen ones are nothing like the real deal.

      Seriously, if we ever open a bakery, freshly made, on-the-spot cream puffs will be a big part of our trade because these treasures are worth every minute and every dime. MAJOR LOVE AFFAIR WITH CREAM PUFFS!!!! But not until Easter, I'm determined to shed my winter "coat" before I put on an Easter dress... Focusing on the goal of prayerfulness and the Easter Parade, LOL! And every time I stroll down Fifth Avenue, or by the beautiful cathedrals in midtown Manhattan, I remember that movie, "Easter Parade". I love that movie.

      Susanna, I hope you love "Safely Home"! It's a little different, Cress has issues and she's a snark, but I love her!!!

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    2. I ended up loving Cress! the entire book. jus the right amount of drama for me :-)

      and these are still a lotta work! trying to stuff the cream inside? I've never used those pastry thingies..well once and it was a MESS! maybe I need some practice...

      Susanna

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  3. Really? The pastry part is that simple? And they freeze well???? Oy...you may just have created a cream puff monster up here. I'm thinking I could make a batch and freeze them and then having something to bring for a string of spring parties. Ooooohhh -- I could make them for our volunteer luncheon at school. Wouldn't everyone think I was fancy dancy?

    I love coming to this café every morning for gratuitous baby and puppy pics. Lovely way to start the day.

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    1. Kav, they are that easy. And when I make them (I do the same with cookies) I make a double or triple batch and when they're cool, I just pop the puff shells into big, gallon freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. Works perfectly! Then all I have to do is make pudding, or whip cream. And I love the whipped cream version, to die for! AND EASY-PEASY!!!!

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    1. Right????? You can't go wrong with these, and it impresses people.

      Yes.

      I am that plastic!!! :)

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  5. I love cream puffs. I'll even eat the frozen ones, if homemade aren't around.

    But the problem with hiding them in a container that looks like it's holding raw chicken?

    I would know better.

    And the cream puffs would be gone. Empty container...whipped cream smears....

    Sigh. Isn't that just the saddest thought?

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    1. Jan, I know. It doesn't fool me, either, so then I hide them in the BASEMENT FREEZER.....

      Picture the basement of a 160-year-old house.

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      The scary basement affords them more safety. :)

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  6. Be still my sweet-loving heart. I love cream puffs. Okay, I adore them. I LOVE chocolate éclairs. Something your chocolate-topped ones greatly resembled.

    This could be bad, Ruthy. Really bad. Like, I my have to shove my fingers in my ears and sing, "La, la, la, la, la..." Or maybe it would be cover my eyes and sing, "La, la, la, la, la." Whatever the case, sharing this recipe with me NOT good. I will make them. I will devour them. ALL of them. Like take the entire stinkin' batch and hide in my closet with them until there is not a crumb left.

    You are evil, Ruthy. Bad, bad, Ruthy.

    Finn, however, he's such a good boy. Such a cutie. And trying to crawl already... You can post gratuitous Finn photos/videos anytime you want. Babies make me smile. You just can't be grumpy when looking at a smiling baby. :D

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    1. Finn is crawling all over now. One day he wasn't.... and the next, he was. A six-month crawler and ready to give us gray hair!!!

      Mindy, the only difference between these and eclairs is the shape! Same thing exactly, so if you want eclairs, I use a big pastry bag with either a plain coupler (no tip) or if it's a disposable bag, I just cut off the end to give me a big circle, and pipe the egg pastry onto the cookie sheet. They double in size baking, so keep them far enough apart, but you will love these! And eclairs give you more filling space/puff space, so your ratio of filling to puff is usually higher.

      SO GOOD!!!!

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  7. YUM!! Now I'm craving them!

    What a fun video!! He's such a cutie. And I just love hearing The Yank's accent!! ("Youse guys") I miss seeing you in person, Ruthy. Are you coming to a conference this year??

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    1. Aw, youse guys are adorable.... :) We might come to St. Louis to see everyone, not to be part of the conference. We're trying to see if we can figure out those logistics and still keep life okay here in September. And then Dave and I would go visit the gals I worked on the continuity with, too.... Brenda Minton and Val Hansen are about 4 hours from the conference, so it would be fun to go have lunch with them, see what's going on over there!

      I'd love to see you guys! But I'm one of those terrible people who don't go to classes so it's kind of silly to pay for a conference and SKIP IT. But coming and hanging out in the lobby and taking Dave to a Cardinals game would be FUN!!!!

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    2. I hope you will! Or else I'll just have to call you and we can laugh at each other's accents. :)

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  8. I also totally cracked up at how he smiled when you said Jeter!! LOL

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    1. WE LOVE JETER!!!!! TRAIN 'EM YOUNG!!!!! :)

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  9. Also meant to say your cook pot looks heart shaped! :)

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    1. Missy, Beth found me that kettle at a garage sale for $4. SUHWEET!!!! It looks like that because it's got "pour" spouts on either side, and the cover has colander holes so you can strain pasta by just picking up the pot, and pouring the water out the side.... And no colander to wash!!!! Also let's me steam things at different rates by adjusting how much air comes into the pot through the steam vents. I love it!!!! I needed a good stainless steel pot for candy making and they're crazy expensive at the stores. Which probably makes me sound cheap, but I'm not, just frugal. I'd rather save that $40 and use it to do some good in the world, than spend it on something I can buy used, you know?

      It's a Wearever kettle and it conducts heat wonderfully!

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    2. I love my pasta pot with the drain holes in the lid. So convenient!

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  10. I was being strong and thinking I could resist the cream puffs. That is till I saw the ones at the bottom with the chocolate frosting. Oh my goodness.

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