Holiday Baking: Candy Cane Cream Puffs
Have you had your fill of Christmas cookies yet? Neither have I. But, I'm beginning to long for something a little different, something not so....cookie-like. Something I can dive into face-first, sating my sweets cravings in one huge dish instead of little by little. Cookies are a great sugar-delivery device, but their generally diminutive nature makes it hard to get your fill quickly and efficiently.
Enter the monster cream puff. Not necessarily a holiday staple, cream puffs go sadly unnoticed this time of year. It's a shame, really, because cream puffs can be just as festive as any sparkle-flecked, snowflake-shaped, frosting-painted sugar cookie. And they're easier to make than you might think.
The pastry part of a cream puff is simply a heated dough, which you can make in under ten minutes. The pastry cream? Well, depending on the recipe you use, that can be equally as simple; the version in this cream puff recipe is as easy as they come. A touch of mint extract and a smattering of crushed candy cane bits make these classic pastries perfect for the holiday season. Set artfully on a tray at your Christmas party, guest will think you spent all day in the kitchen. And you did, right? Right?
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About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her monthly culinary newsletter is full of stories, review, and helpful tips.