Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs: one of the ultimate shower foods. So dainty and delicate, they look like they'd really be a pain to make. They're not! Time consuming? Eh, not really. The longest part of the process is baking them. I made over 100 of these little beauties in just a couple of hours. Yum, yum.

You'll need salt, butter, and beer. Yes, beer...go for something Shiner, please!

Put the butter, salt and beer into a pot and bring to a boil. (Note: I made a double batch for the shower, so the regular recipe does not make this many puffs!)

While that's all melting and getting hot, get out your eggs and flour.

Almost there...

Good, boiling!

Yes, this is a horrible picture, but it was pretty steamy. Once the mixture has come to a boil, dump all of the flour in at one time and stir your little heart out until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.

Well, this was close enough for me...a single batch forms a better ball of batter.

Then, add the eggs, one at a time blending well after each egg.

This step gets kinda shady because after each egg, the mixture gets really, really slimy. Just work the batter, it'll all come together.

After the last egg, you should have a nice, smooth batter that looks like this.

I neglected to take pictures of the batter in my piping bag or what kind of tips I used. Sorry!

You can either put your batter into a piping bag and pipe the puffs onto the pan, or you can just spoon it onto the pan. I really liked the piping!

Here are a couple of the puffs. Note the spiky point on top.

Wet your finger and pat it down.

So it looks like this. If you leave your cream puffs with a point, the point will burn and that's no good! Puffs aren't pretty with a burnt top!

Here are all of my little puffs ready for the oven. 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350 for another 10 minutes.

Perfectly baked little puffs!

A closer look.

After I made about 80 puffs, I had a brilliant idea. One of those ideas that you wish you would have been doing all along. Then you contemplate scrapping everything you've done so that you'll have perfectly cute little puffs. Then you scrap the scrapping idea, because you just don't have time for that!

I put a star tip onto another piping bag and produced these beauties.

Adorable. Why wasn't I doing this all along?

They are so much better than just a regular cream puff. These were perfect!

So, I made one more batch of batter and made a whole bunch!

I was so pleased that they kept their shape in the oven.

So pretty!

After they cooled, I wanted to slice them in half to make putting in the chicken salad easier on the day of the shower.

I left a little flap so I wouldn't have a bunch of tops and bottoms separate in the bag.

On the left, a cream puff, top and bottom. Easy to find in the bag. On the right, an oops. The top and bottom were accidentally separated. They too were thrown in the bag. But they probably weren't used, because who has time to find the lost bottom/top? Especially when you're filling these as guests are arriving!

And here are my gorgeous puffs at work! I laid a spinach leaf on the bottom and piled the chicken salad on the leaf and placed the top back on. They were so good! I even received a few complements from the guests!

Yum, yum! Hurry up and go make some puffs!

You don't have to fill your puffs with chicken salad. If you don't slice them in half, you can fill them with whipped cream or a custard or chocolate sauce. Just make a small hole in the bottom of the puff and use a piping bag to squirt your desired filling into the puff. People will think you spent all day on them. But, we'll know better!!

Cream Puff Recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup beer
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Place the butter, beer, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, dump in all of the flour at one time and beat vigorously until the mixture forms a ball. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

Spoon or pipe the mixture onto greased cookie sheets. (I lined my pans with parchment paper. I also used a new sheet of parchment paper after each batch because the paper gets brown and very brittle.)

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. (You leave the puffs in there the entire 20 minutes. Don't pull the sheet out while your oven is adjusting.)

Cool on racks and fill with your choice of goodness! Enjoy!


soccermom10 said...

I have enjoyed these beauties at many a shower but have never attempted to make them! They look great...thanks for sharing the recipe!

Karen said...

Is this Mary H's recipe? I have it somewhere but have never made it. I didn't remember that it had beer in it though. They are so yummy!

Sara said...

Yes, it is her recipe. I'm pretty sure she uses Miller Light instead of the cheap-o Lone Star! Probably doesn't matter, though.

Teresa Andel said...

Those looked delicious and yes, perfect!!! I'll have to sock this one away for party times too.

ChrissyK said...

Hello Sara,
I'm Julie's mom. I guess she is one of the teens that is making you feel old. Seems like yesterday she was the same age as Elizabeth. Carol gave me your blog about a month or so ago. I have enjoyed reading it. I cannot wait to try the creme puffs. Mine will definately have chocolate! I am also thinking of trying to make the oreo truffles as Easter eggs. Hope you have a happy birthday! Chris

Sara said...

Hi, Chris! We just met Julie for the first time last weekend. She's very pretty! We hope to see her again!

I'm glad you like the blog. I always like to know that people are reading and commenting! The truffles for Easter would be adorable. I'm going to tell Kate that she has inspired at least one person!

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Karen said...

Ooohh, those truffles would make cute Easter eggs!

Stephen said...

what a disappointment. they're not exactly cream puffs if they don't have CREAM. :D

just giving you a hard time.

ChrissyK said...

Since I want to try them anyway and Stephen is apparently having "Cream issues" , we are making them the next time he comes to see Julie. They can clean the kitchen!

I will let you know how they turn out.

Joanne said...

Yum, yum, yummy, yum! No shower is complete without Mary Helen's chicken salad cream puffs! I haven't made them in ages (and I think the last time I did, we put chocolate pudding in them). I might need to change that soon!