Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cooking With Mom:)

Just in case you've been wondering where I've been......I've had my mom visiting us for the last week and a half. Her visit is almost coming to a close, and it is now time to start thinking about finding a box big enough to send all her purchases home with her. The two week visit has gone quickly and it seems like we have done a lot (and I mean a lot of cooking and eating). So here is one of the things that mom made during her visit.

Mom had a hankering for some cream puffs and I needed some baking to take to the PAC meeting that night. It seems to me that cream puff making is a bit of a lost art as I honestly cannot think of anyone who makes them anymore. It could just be that it's a recipe that people just don't think of making anymore or that people haven't made them in so long they think they are difficult. When in fact they are a quick bake and dead easy. Cream Puffs were something that her mom (Grama K) had made while mom was growing up quite often and I even remember my mom making them for me to bring in to school parties when I was a kid. There is not a lot in them....and with their own cream, butter, and eggs it was probably a pretty inexpensive make. And that would have really appealed to my grama....and it would to me too. It doesn't get much better than easy, yummy and inexpensive! We were just talking last night about how berry picking is just about as exciting as getting something for free......at least that's the way I feel about it. The snow here is slowly creeping away and I am already getting giddy in the anticipation of all the 'free' things summer has to offer....like....raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, Saskatoons, rhubarb, pin cherries, mushrooms, apples etc. There is little else that gives the satisfaction of putting up supplies for the winter to come. Although in this day and age it is certainly more recreational than it is necessary. But I digress....
The cream puffs with filled with stabilized whipping cream and flavoured with two drops of Banana Cream flavouring.........and there were none left at the end of the meeting. I love Cream Puffs for their versatility. You can even use them with savoury fillings...although I think that whipped cream is the most common. These particular cream puffs remained beautiful with no weeping of the cream even the next morning when they were promptly eaten...thanks to the stabilizer. Try them.....I bet you'll like them.

Mom's Cream Puffs

1/2 c water
1/4 c unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tsp sugar
pinch salt
1/2 c flour
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a heavy bottom saucepan with deep sides, combine the water, butter, sugar, salt on medium high heat until butter is melted and mixture begins to bubble.
Add flour all at once, remove from the heat, and stir vigorously to combine.
Add 1 egg at a time beating vigorously to combine. Beat mixture until it leaves the sides of the pan.
At this point it is easiest to pipe the dough onto the parchment to make 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough. You can also scoop the dough into balls using a heaping teaspoon amount. Makes about 24 golf ball sized cream puffs.
Bake for 22-24 minutes until they are golden in spots and the sides sound hollow and firm when tapped. Remove to cool on wire rack.
Slice off top 1/3, and pipe whipped cream filling. Replace cap and sift generously with icing sugar.

Filling

1 cup whipping cream
1 envelope stabilizer
2 tsp sugar
flavouring optional

Beat whipping cream and all other ingredients until stiff peaks are formed.

2 comments:

Lynn said...

They look delicious! but I'm not sure I know what stabilzer is that you are talking about for the whipped cream?

LittleRed said...

Yep, the stabilizer is for the whipping cream....so it won't weep and get soggy. There are some other methods using gelatin....but using these packets from Oetker is very easy so that's what I do for the few times I need it.