Saturday, December 17, 2011

DAY 4: Eclairs (with dairy free option)


I mean, lets just start there, shall we? You are going to LOVE me for these! 

Today is leftover night. Busy busy! But there must be a post, so let's give you a treat! I whipped these up for a scout meeting Ryan was having at our house. BIG HIT! They always are! And as a bonus, I put my wheels into motion and figured out a way to make them dairy free for my hubby! He loves me more now...and he thinks I am a genius! :) 

I have to be honest. I kinda broke the rules on this one. This didn't come from the cookbooks, it was an old favorite. However, I did have to re-invent it to make it dairy free....and they are divine, so I let them in! :) 


Oh, and perhaps I should mention that these babies are RIDICULOUSLY easy! A little more involved than  chocolate chip cookies, but not much and I would turn to these first because of how delicious they are! 

Let's start with the puffs. 

Just a note....follow these directions EXACTLY. Puffs can be finicky. 

  • In a small sauce pan boil 1 c. water & 1/2 c. of butter (for dairy free I used Safflower Butter. You can use another brand if you can't find this one by the butter at your store. Just make sure there isn't any dairy.) 
  • When the water is boiling and the butter is melted, remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl. 
  • Add 1 c. of flour, mix well. 
  • Microwave the bowl and mixture for 30 sec. Remove and stir. Repeat for 30 more seconds in the microwave.
  • Add 4 room temperature eggs. Beat until creamy. 
  • Spoon batter onto lightly sprayed cookie sheet. 12 large or 24 small....or whatever you feel like. 

  • I usually get a little bowl of water and wet my fingertips just a little bit and form the puffs a little. Seriously, go easy with the water. You want just enough to keep your fingers from sticking to the batter. 
  • Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 min, or until starting to turn golden brown. Start watching them at about 20 min. Warning...only use your oven light or slightly crack the oven open for just a moment. Cold air will make these puffs collapse and then you will have to start don't want to do that. 

  • Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Leave the puffs in the oven to cool until it cools completely. Every once in a while 1 or 2 might collapse a bit. You can try to salvage them with the cream. Sometimes they are just a loss, but most times you can get them to fill up. 

This is how they should look when they are done. YUM!

While the puffs are cooking, let's make the filling!  

Dairy Free option for filling & frosting, with pictures, at the end of the post. 
  • Mix 1 large box of Vanilla pudding mix with 1 1/2 c. milk. (coconut milk for dairy free) 
  • In a separate bowl mix 2 c. of Cool Whip with 1 Tbsp of Sugar until stiff peaks form. 
  • Mix cool whip mixture with pudding. 

  • Creamy or Rich & Creamy Milk Chocolate frosting, either Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines, is the best frosting for these. It combines perfectly with the puff and filling. SO GOOD! 

This is what I use to fill the puffs. You can use any frosting bag sort of thing. You just want to make sure that you have a pointy tip to stick through the side of the pastry. 

Like this! 

Fill each puff. If you have left over filling go back through and make sure that each is filled all the way. 

NOTE: Another option is to cut the puff in half and fill the center. Kinda like a roll. Then close it and frost the top. This is slightly more messy for the eater, but if you are doing a lot of these, this might be a good option. Just make them smaller. 

Frost the top and chill for at least an hour, more time is better. 

Serve and enjoy the happy faces! These babies are PERFECT! 

Now, for the Dairy Free portion. 

Ghiradelli makes semi-sweet chocolate chips. That makes chocolate anything SO much easier! 

I didn't measure this out. Just eye ball it. Depending on how many you are making. I also added a bit of coconut whip cream to thin out the chocolate. Adjust your amount of chocolate, if you would like to add the cream. Otherwise, melt the chocolate for 30 sec or so in the microwave and stir until it is all smooth. Microwave a little longer, if needed. Frost the eclairs and the chocolate will harden during chilling process.  

To make the cream open 2 refrigerated cans of full fat coconut milk. (do not shake) Skim the thicker cream off the top of the milk. Turn the mixer on medium high. Add sugar and vanilla to desired sweetness. 

Mix a little bit of this cream with the chocolate, if desired. Mix remainder with the pudding, instead of using cool whip. This will keep your filling dairy free. Fill according to above directions. 

My cream turned out pretty thin. Coconut milk cream is finicky like that. Sometimes you get a lot of thick cream and sometimes it is thinner. When I mixed that with the chocolate it made it thin. I spooned a bit over the top of the puff and immediately put it in the fridge. The cool thing about coconut milk is that it hardens in cold temperatures. This means that by adding it to the chocolate it becomes magic shell! 

After the chocolate hardened, I took it out of the fridge spooned more chocolate and put back in the fridge. These were seriously beautiful! They looked so good! 

Alright, I know the instructions make these seem super involved. They are actually very easy. I just wanted to make sure to be VERY detailed! Let me know if you have any questions! 


*White Chili

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