Puffs and puffs and more puffs

The holidays and my birthday kind of just mesh into this blob of a season that is both fun and stressful.  I’ve given up baking something for myself for my birthday (it’s quite silly b/c I probably wouldn’t eat any of it), but sometimes I just feel like I HAVE to bake something.

That something ended up being cream puffs.  And for two weekends in a row I churned out loads of cream puffs.  They’re so simple and yet so pleasing and they became my go-to item for January celebrations.  I think I kept making them mostly b/c I liked hearing ppl say, “Ooooh, these are so good!” and I liked replying, “Oh, these things?  They were SUPER easy to make.  I just whipped them up really quick,” and then getting that “….” look in response.  I guess it was like the equivalent of when chicks are like, “OMG you look fabulous? What’s your secret?” and the woman in question answers with, “Oh, nothing really.  I don’t work out and I just eat what I want,” and your expression just says “Bitch!”  hahaha  Hey man, it was for my birthday.  I’M bringing in homemade pastries for MY birthday.  I had an excuse to be a bit of a d*ck.  =)

Chocolate and vanilla filled cream puffs
Chocolate and vanilla filled cream puffs

Anyway, the first cream puffisode (I just invented that word!) was for my family’s after-Christmas Christmas party.  We never celebrate holidays on the actual day b/c my mom’s fam is so huge and it solves the problem of who’s family we’re seeing for which holiday (seriously, our in-laws don’t know how good they have it =) and per usual, I didn’t have a lot of time to bake, so I decided to whip up cream puffs.

Giant empty shells
Giant empty shells

There isn’t much to write about here b/c it’s literally butter, sugar, salt, liquid and flour over the stove, stuffed into a piping bag, a few plops onto baking sheets, sprinkled some toffee sprinkles just b/c I had them, popped in the oven for a bit and voila: giant pate a choux shells.  (I have no idea why I piped them so big.  They were like hulking hamburger buns.  Silly me.)

sprinkling powder on the puffs
Sprinkling powder on the puffs

For my family’s get-together, I made this spiced pumpkin cream filling.  Super tasty.  I decided I’d fill it when we got to my aunt’s house b/c I didn’t want these to get mushy.  I just brought an extra piping bag, cake tip and a small bag of coke powdered sugar to sprinkle on the puffs for dramatic effect.

Spiced pumpkin filled cream puffs with powdered sugar
Spiced pumpkin filled cream puffs with powdered sugar

Ta daaaa… delicious giant cream puffs.

Then the following week, I just felt like making something for my birthday.  I mean, I knew I wasn’t getting a cake, and I wasn’t going to go out and buy one, so… let’s just revert back to grade school when YOU had to bring in sh*t for everyone to eat for YOUR birthday.

Cream puffs "wit' out"
Cream puffs “wit’ out”

This time, I piped out smaller pate a choux (more like mini slider size and smaller knobby puffs), and I made vanilla and chocolate mousse fillings.  I sliced the “slider” puffs in half and squirted swirls of vanilla and chocolate in them, and just jabbed the piping bag into the oddball-shaped puffs and squeezed till they were overflowing.  And of course, powdered sugar was sprinkled over everything.

Cream puffs "wit'"
Cream puffs “wit'”

I brought them into work and shared them with coworkers (aka, the ppl I have to harass per my job description) as a “thank you for putting up with my document requests” token of gratitude.  I guess that’s a decent birthday gift: knowing that you’ve temporarily quelled the mob with sugar so they won’t sabotage you or delay your work requests for a while.  =P

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