I’ve got a few “Thanksgiving treats” up my sleeve for this week, starting with these delicious cream puffs. I know what you’re thinking – you expect ME to make cream puffs?! Trust me. Don’t get turned off because you think cream puffs are fancy or they are too difficult. To be honest, they were quite easy, fun, and you can make them ahead of time.
In fact, I made these ahead of time, myself. I left all the cream puffs in tact and made the filling and set that aside in the fridge. The day I wanted to serve these, I cut them and filled them in the morning and then set them in the fridge in an airtight container. A few hours later when we went to serve them, they were soft and delicious – the perfect “bite” of pumpkin pie!
Cinnamon Cream Puffs with Pumpkin Cream (adapted from Joy of Baking’s Cream Puffs)
Serves: 16 (48 mini cream puffs)
1 cup Hodgson Mill’s Pastry flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, cut in pieces
1 cup water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice*
Make the Choux Pastry: Whisk together Hodgson Mill’s Pastry flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add water and turn the heat to medium-high and wait for the mixture to boil. When the mixture starts a rolling boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Return it to low heat and continue to cook until the mixture is a big dough ball. Remove from the heat. Beat the mixture with an electric mixture on a low setting for a minute, until it is no longer hot to the touch. Beat in the eggs (Joy of Baking says that the dough will separate and then come together, but mine stayed pretty much together) until fully combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray two 13×9 cooking sheets with cooking spray. Then, spoon out** the pastry into small bite-sized spheres (I made mine about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in diameter), keeping the dough about 2 inches apart so they don’t rise into one another. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then decrease the temperature to 350 degrees. Allow them to cook for another 20 – 25 minutes (when you touch the tops they should be hard, and make no indents). Then, shut off the oven and open the oven door, letting the puffs cool slowly. While they are cooling, make the filling.
For the filling, beat together the heavy whipping cream and sugar until hard peaks form. In a separate bowl, season pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices. Gently fold the pumpkin into the whipping cream, careful to only just incorporate.
Cut the puffs in half (they will be hollow inside so this takes a good knife and a careful hand). Fill the bottom of the puff with pumpkin cream filling and place the puff top back on. Serve immediately, or, place them in the fridge for a few hours where they will soften up (this way they taste more like the frozen ones you can buy…and I like them better this way! They melt in your mouth!).
*If you’re like me, I “make my own” pumpkin pie spice by putting in 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg, and 1/4 tablespoon each cloves and ginger. I like the way it tastes and it gives it that pumpkin pie taste, without having to go out and buy another spice!
**You can also pipe out the dough but, I am bad with a pastry bag…just trust me on this. Plus spoon? Way easier!
Until the next time my oven is on…