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. =)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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