Cooking with kids – making Cream Puffs! Tip = this is the EASIEST pastry that Children can make!

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A Very Simple Way to Make Very Good Cream Puffs

(Includes raspberry, cherry, and lemon variations)

If you can make cupcakes, you can make  cream puffs.  They’re that simple.  I don’t mean fancy, decorator cupcakes; I  mean bake-them-from-a-mix-and spread-frosting-on-them cupcakes.  They are not just amazingly good; they’re  easy. And again I am resourcing ingredients from my favorite supplier, The Prepared Pantry.

I  don’t remember when I had my first cream puff.   I was a kid.  I remember that they  were kind of mysterious—something magical.   I had no clue how they were made but I sure liked them.  Now I know how simple they are. And so you can make them with your children.

With  cream puffs, you can be a successful pastry chef—a magician in your own  kitchen.  They’re so easy, they’re  foolproof and so good that you’ll dazzle your family and friends. Of course its important to put on music while we cook – so we love to listen to the Happy Song which you can buy by clicking on this link – or buy the whole CD ( by download or in Sam’s Special Box) -makes us click our fingers and dance around the kitchen. What could be more fun than that! By the way – if you click here you can download our coloring books – the first one is FREE!

There  are three parts to cream puffs: the baked pastry shell, the Bavarian cream  filling, and the chocolate topping.  It’s  not just the combination of tastes; I love the crisp shell against the cool,  silky smooth Bavarian cream along with the melt-in-you-mouth chocolate.

Step 1:   The pastry shell.  The batter for the pastry is extremely  easy.  It’s only three ingredients excluding the water.  There is no  baking powder or yeast; these are leavened with steam.   The key in  baking the shells is to get your oven hot enough that the moisture will quickly  turn to steam expanding the dough until it triples in size and then baking them  just until they get a little caramel colored with crispy edges. I started making these when I was a child – and was thrilled and delighted that they came out every single time exactly as I wanted them to!

Step 2:   The filling.  Buy premade  Bavarian cream.  You can buy  it cheaper than you can make it and it’s a lot less trouble.  It comes in a two-pound squeeze pack.  Cut a quarter-inch off the plastic package,  insert the tube in the edge of a pastry, and squeeze.  You’ll feel the pastry become heavier and  start to swell as the Bavarian cream fills the pastry.  It’s the easy way to fill cream puffs.  It’s also the easy  way to fill cupcakes with pastry cream.        When  you’re through filling your cream puffs, fold the corner on the pastry bag  over, put a paper clip on it, and store the rest of your pastry cream in the  refrigerator for up to six months.  See what else you can make with pastry filings with this  free e-book.

Step 3: The chocolate.  You can use  any sweet, high-quality chocolate.  Chocolate wafers are made for candy making and  have a smoother grind and more cocoa butter than chocolate chips.  You can either dip your cream puffs in the  melted chocolate or spoon it over the top of each.  The hotter the chocolate, the thinner is the  coating.  If it is melted but not too  hot, you’ll get a thick layer of chocolate.

The Recipe

This  is the recipe for traditional cream puffs made with Bavarian cream and  chocolate.  Following are instructions  for making variations like raspberry, cherry, and lemon cream puffs.

Ingredients

1  cup water       1/2 cup butter (one cube)       1 cup all-purpose flour       4 large eggs Bavarian  pastry cream Chocolate  wafers or other good quality melting chocolate

Directions

  1. Mix       the dough.  In a medium       saucepan on medium-high heat, place one cup of water and one stick (1/2       cup) of butter.  After the butter is melted, turn off heat and add one       cup all-purpose flour all at once.  Stir until the dough forms a ball       and flour is absorbed.
  2. Place dough ball       in your stand-type mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until       the dough starts to cool, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the  eggs all at       once and mix on low speed until the dough absorbs the eggs and the dough       becomes very sticky. This will take about 8 to10 minutes.
  3. Bake the cream puffs.  With a large       ice cream scoop (1/4 cup), spoon mounds of evenly spaced dough       onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake       at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 degrees       for another 10 minutes. You can also use a small cookie scoop as shown in the pictures. You’ll just need to lower the baking time to 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then turn down to 350 for another 7 minutes.
  4. Fill the cream puffs with Bavarian       cream.  If you are using a scratch recipe, make       a horizontal slit in the edge of each cream puff and slip a large spoonful       of cream into each cream puff.  If       you are using professional Bavarian cream,       insert the tip of the plastic bag into the edge of each cream puff and       squeeze.

Melt  the chocolate.  You can  do so in the microwave using 20 second bursts or in a chocolate melting pot.   Do not  overheat the chocolate.  You can either  dip the tops of the cream puffs into the chocolate or spoon chocolate over the  cream puffs.  Let the chocolate set  before serving.

The Family of Recipes:  Variations on  a Theme

Discover  a whole new world of cream puffs like raspberry cream, cherry cream cheese, and  lemon cream puffs.  You can make these by  simply varying the filling and the topping.

New Fillings for New  Cream Puffs

Professional  pastry fillings come in the following types:

Learn  more about professional pastry fillings.

While  you can fill your cream puffs with any of these pastry fillings, they just  don’t seem like “cream” puffs without the cream filling.  You can mix the cream fillings with the fruit  fillings to make a raspberry cream filling, a cherry cream cheese filling, or a  lemon cream filling.  You can do that two  ways.  You can mix raspberry and Bavarian  cream filling in a bowl and spoon your raspberry cream filling into the cream  puff pastries.  We don’t bother mixing  the two in a bowl.  Simply insert the  raspberry filling with a squeeze and then squirt Bavarian cream in through the same  hole.  The filling will be red streaked  with Bavarian cream but no one seems to mind; the streaks are attractive.

Adding a Frosting

The  topping doesn’t have to be melted chocolate.   You can top your cream puffs with melted white chocolate or with  frosting.  You can tint your frosting or  white chocolate with professional color gels and add flavors.

A  lemon cream cheese frosting on a lemon cream puff is delightful.  A raspberry cream filling and a raspberry  frosting tinted light pink is a favorite.   (We recommend Marsden and Bathe Flavors and Americolor Professional Food Color Gels to get your frosting the right flavor and color.  They are both reasonably priced and  Americolor comes in such a wide selection of colors like four shades of pink.)

We used this recipe:

3 oz. cream cheese       1 cup powdered sugar       1/2 t. vanilla or other flavor     milk

1. Whip the cream cheese until soft. Add the powdered sugar.     2. Stir in the flavor. Add enough milk and continue stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.

 

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About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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