Connie’s kitchen: cream puffs

Connies KitchenBy Connie Emmons

Cream puffs have always been popular around our house. Filled with cream or strawberry cream or chocolate or chicken salad, you simply can’t go wrong in impressing you family with a tasty treat. Small puffs bake quickly and are easy to handle when eating them. I had tried a few recipes lately that did not have the desired result. There are some recipes that mom had that just can’t be beat.

One of the most important things to remember is do not open door to look at them. If your cream puffs fall while cooling they are under cooked or the ingredients not mixed well enough. Another helpful trick is to poke a small hole in the top of them with a skewer as soon as you get them out of the oven to prevent the steam from being trapped and making them wet inside.

Be adventurous and make different fillings for your treats. For sweet treats sprinkle the finished product with powdered sugar, drizzle with chocolate, caramel or anything else you like. For savory filled sprinkle with spice, flavored salt or brush with an herb butter.

Basic choux paste

1 cup flour

1 stick butter

1 cup water

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 450

Melt butter in water over medium heat. Once melted turn up heat and bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once, remove from heat. Stir well but if you over stir you will have a greasy looking product. Beat in 1 egg at a time with a spoon. Make sure to completely beat in each egg before adding the next. Using a teaspoon drop small rounded balls on a dry cookie sheet. Leave room between them as they will expand some. Bake in hot oven for 12 minutes the turn oven down to 350 for another 10-15 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and pierce the top of each puff with a skewer. Let completely cool out of any draft. When cooled cut the top of each puff off and clean out any dough remaining inside. Fill then replace top and garnish.

(Connie Emmons is the owner and chef of the popular restaurant, Connie’s Kitchen, in Seymour, Tennessee. She appears as the frequent guest chef on Knoxville’s Channel 10’s top rated afternoon show, Live at Five at Four. She is also known as the creator of unusual and delicious recipes.)

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