Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Eclairs

Why is it that the idea of making cream puffs or chocolate eclairs seems so hard and scary. They really aren't that hard, and I think they are really fun to make. This recipe is really for cream puffs and you can fill them however you wish: savory or sweet. A chicken salad tastes yummy. But by far my favorite is to make them into chocolate eclairs. Yummmmmmy!
Cream Puffs
1 cup boiling water (in a medium saucepan on the stove)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Cut the butter into several pieces and put in the boiling water. When melted, add the flour and salt all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook and cook and stir until the mixture forms a big lump or ball that doesn't separate. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with your wooden spoon until well combined after each egg. Put in an egg. Beat and beat and beat until the egg is all consumed. Add the next and do the same. Do it for all four eggs.
Drop dough by heaping Tablespoons, as round as possible, onto a greased cookie sheet (or you can use a sil-pat) They should be at least three inches apart. Bake in a preheated 450 (yes, that hot) oven for 15 minutes. Leave them in, and reduce the heat to 300 and bake for another 25 minutes or so until browned and pretty. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, gently remove the top of each cream puff. It should be hollow in the middle. While you're waiting for them to cool, mix the filling:
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped OR 1 8 oz. tub cool whip
1 box instant vanilla pudding, made with 1/2 the milk called for in the recipe
Fold the cream and the pudding together and fill the puffs. Replace the tops. Top with chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. hot milk (just put some milk in the microwave and heat. Then add it to the frosting a spoon at a time to get the right consistency- so use about 3T.)

OR An easy way to make a glaze is to heat canned chocolate frosting.

Another delicious idea:
Instead of the pudding, fill the puffs with sliced strawberries (sprinkled with sugar), and whipped cream. Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar.

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