Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest Post: Sweet Puffs of Cream

My friend, Pam Leeper, shares her cooking adventure with us in today's episode of "Chandler Family Cooking - For Pete's Sake!" If you would like to send in one of your own BCC experiences, we'd love to read about it and have more guest posts!

This weekend was one filled with nostalgia.  My husband and I gleefully celebrated our first wedding anniversary.  In preparation for this milestone, my sweet friend Connie sent us our very own, circa 1976 version, Betty Crocker's Cookbook and I couldn't have been more thrilled.   Recipes always fill me with hope much like God's love and the instructions he has for us every time we open his Word.  

Well after I tore off the cellophane I excitedly flipped through the vintage pages practically drooling as I made my way closer to the “Candies/Desserts” section and then I saw it … Cream Puffs, on page 195.  I knew right then and there that this would be my first adventure with BC, and very fitting, because my affection for Cream Puffs started decades before I met my husband, Andy.  Fitting as it may be, we had our first date at a donut shop and he shares my appreciation for tasty pastries.

Cream Puffs are an item that I have always been drawn to. Some may think they are “old school” compared to the cupcake and cake ball trends recently, but I can’t think of a better way to satisfy a sweet tooth.  I can remember a little Greek donut shop near our house in Illinois carrying them regularly in their display cases, and me begging my dad for one over the donuts that he was picking up for the rest of the family. 

Cream Puffs (p. 195 of the BCC): The BC recipe says that “Cream Puffs are surprisingly easy to make …” and this blew my mind because I thought that something so delicate must be a skill that is learned over time.So with some hesitation I got to it and started on the dough for the puff which involved making a roux and then slowly adding in eggs. 

Next it was time to scoop the mixture into 12 ball-like mounds on a sheet pan.  I doubtfully put them into the oven and waited for failure because in my mind there was no way something so delicate could withstand 35 to 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Somehow, to my surprise they actually PUFFED!!

The next step was making the Vanilla Cream Pudding on Page 185 and at this point the lovely smell in the kitchen got the attention of our bulldog, Ace. 

So while I started blending, he sat and sniffed.  As the mixture on my stove started bubbling I was again in awe of the process. Don’t tell my dad (professional chef) but I have never made pudding without the help of a box of JELLO mix, so I too bubbled with pride as the pudding actually started to thicken up. 

Finally it was time to put them together and I couldn't help but add a little personality to the BC instructions.  Along with a simple dusting of powdered sugar (recommended) I added some decadent chocolate drizzle to make them a little more like the ones I remembered. 

As I arranged the Cream Puffs on the cute two-tiered tray we got as a wedding gift one year ago, I praised God for recipes and the similar hope he gives that if we trust in his promises we will be dazzled by the results.

The Cream Puffs were devoured by myself of course, my husband Andy and multiple friends at a birthday party we attended that evening.  They were a fun, unique treat that disappeared quickly and will be a staple treat in the Leeper household for years to come.

1 comment:

  1. Oh MY ! It's the God giving gift of cooking , the Cook Queen in the making !