Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A “Cream Puff" Recipe As We Celebrate “National Pastry Day”

Welcome….The Italian people are very serious about celebrating any type of family gathering. But what is even more serious to them is indulging in delicious foods which are prepared for these occasions. Foods that were passed down from generation to generation, are simple recipes made with the freshest ingredients, and you can feel the love that went into every special dish. So, come with me around my family table as I share with you one of my families recipes for the holidays! 

Today just happens to be “National Pastry Day!” This day was created as a fun day to encourage you to make and eat your favorite pastries. Make savory pastries or sweet either one is delicious. It is possible this holiday may have been created by the greeting card industry because I found reference to it on greeting card sites as I was doing my research. This holiday is still referred to as a "National,” day as all food and drink holidays are. Pastries are popular all throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. Did you know that "Pastries go back to the ancient Mediterranean paper-thin multi-layered baklava and filo?"

The definition of “Pastry” per Wikipedia says that, "Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked goods made from ingredients such as flour, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Common pastry dishes include pies, tarts, quiches, doughnuts, cream puffs, etc. Pastry is distinguished from bread by having a higher fat content, which contributes to a flaky or crumbly texture. A good pastry is light and airy but firm enough to support the weight of a filling. Over mixing results in a tough pastry.

Choux pastry, or pâte à choux is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, (cream puffs) éclairs, French crullers, beignets and many more luscious desserts. This dough only contains butter, water, flour, and eggs. Choux pastry is usually baked but for beignets it is fried. They are sometimes filled with cream or dusted with powdered sugar and used to make cream puffs or éclairs.

My recipe this week is a simply light and heavenly pastry called “Cream Puffs.” What a way to celebrate “National Pastry Day” than by eating one of these luscious cream filled pastries, especially drizzled with chocolate. They will look beautiful on your holiday table.

“Cream Puffs”

1 cup of water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (no substitutes)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 cups whipped cream (homemade is the best)
Melted Chocolate or powdered sugar

Place butter in a medium saucepan. Add water and salt. Bring to boiling, stirring till butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir till mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Once cooled add eggs, one at a time, to flour mixture, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition for about 1 minute, or till smooth. Scoop up some dough with a tablespoon. Use another spoon to push off the dough in a mound onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Leave 3 inches between the puffs for expansion. Bake in a pre-heated 400° F. oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove puffs from pan, and cool on a rack. Slice off the tops (or cut in half). With a fork, gently scrape out any soft, moist dough if there is any. Work carefully so that you don’t puncture the crust. After they are cooled, fill with the homemade whip cream. You can drizzle melted chocolate on top of the cream puffs, if you choose or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yield: about 15 or more servings, depending how big you make them.

Till Next Time………………..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love”  All Rights Reserved


  1. I wish everyday was National Pastry Day, Dottie! haha! Actually, there's no need to twist MY arm to eat Cream Puffs or any other pastry for that matter. I know the traditional filling for Italian Cream Puffs is Crema Pasticcieria, but I happen to not like it, so I'm glad you mentioned real, homemade whipped cream (my fav)! These look absolutely lovely and you've made me want to whip up a batch right now! have a lovely week! CC

    1. Hi Christina, Thank for visiting and for your comment. You and me both, wish it was Pastry Day every day. Sometimes I love pastries more than cake. They are so light even though they contain more butter, but what can I say, except they are sooo goood! Yes, the filling is traditional Crema Pasticcieria, I like this filling but my families favorites is the whipped cream inside.They are not hard to make but my arm gets tired after each egg, that you have to stir in. Especially if you are making tons of them. I guess that is the price to pay for such a delicious dessert! I hope that you have a great rest of the week, enjoy! Dottie :)

  2. Cream Puffs, Dottie, really??? Oh my goodness, I do love them so and not only for St. Joseph's Day either, lol...I've decided I will be going off my diet every now and again this holiday season. Perhaps not for Pastry Day but most certainly for those Cream Puffs! (I favor the traditional cream:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Dottie...Happy Pastry Day

    1. Dear Louise,
      Yep Cream Puffs... I agree Louise, I love them as well. I know they are delicious, but you have to watch what you are doing as far as your diet goes. Give yourself a treat once in a while during the Christmas Holidays. I love both, the traditional and the whipped cream. Especially if there is chocolate that is involved...Thank you dear friend for your visit and your comment. Have a blessed rest of the week!
      Dottie :)

  3. Good evening Dottie ,
    What a lovely recipe for cream puffs ... My family loves them and I try to make them often .
    Lots of folks shy away from making cream puffs because they think they are so hard and time consuming , not at all and worth the extra effort .Great Post and thinks for sharing . Have a good week and stay warm Thanks for sharing . ~~Nee~~ ;-D

    1. Good evening Nee,
      Thanks for your visit and your comment. I know Nee, I can't think of one person who doesn't love cream puffs! It is worth the extra effort. But I did notice that I had made them once in the heat of the summer for a graduation party and they went flat on me. It might have been the weather, so I would rather make them now, when it is cold outside or for holiday time. Thanks again, Have a blessed week and hope that you are feeling much better, I am getting there too!
      Dottie :)

  4. Oh my.... what a treat! I have not made these for years! I used to call them "beignets". In Italy you see them often on top of celebratory cakes too.

    Homemade ones are an incredible thing to have. Beautiful...beautiful Dottie. You inspire me to make them with your recipe. I love them with chocolate too.
    Christmas time is time to indulge in treats... I cannot wait to bake more and more.. never mind about diets we will think of that when January comes! Bacioni.

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thanks dear friend for your visit and you wonderful comment! Yes, I agree these are so beautiful on top of cakes as well, but the best is when they are on your plate with chocolate or just powdered sugar. I make these a lot for the family or parties. Yep, diets can wait till January. SO glad that you enjoyed this post and recipe. I will be making these for Christmas Eve...besides my cookies and a pie. My house will be baking central once again. Enjoy :) Have a great rest of the week...

  5. I love cream puffs! And haven't made them in ages. You've done a super job -- just really, really nice. And you've inspired me. :-) Thanks for this.

    1. Hi John, You are so kind, Thank you for your comment and for your visit! Who doesn't love cream puffs? I make these a lot for family gatherings and for parties. So glad that I inspired you to make these delicious and luscious cream puffs. Enjoy, Dottie :)

  6. These sound super, Dottie! :D

    I love cream puffs. Never made my own but I think it might be fun to try for the holidays :)

    Have a lovely day,

    1. Hi Tammy, So nice to hear from you, thanks for your comment. I love them as well, I could polish off a bunch of them, but you should try them. I have even made them a little larger and used them for a luncheon. I filled them with chicken salad something like croissants. You can do so many things with them. In England they even put them on top of cakes, (per Alida of mylittleItaliankitchen.com) Hope that you have a great day and Enjoy! Dottie :)