Chocolate Dipped Creampuffs

Several years ago I decided to make cream puffs. It was so long ago, that I have to admit it was one of the first desserts I have ever made from scratch. The inspiration comes from a small family owned bakery in Santa Ana, CA. My family would go to this bakery often when I was a young girl. Cream puffs was one of their specialties. So I grew up eating cream puffs, and all my life I wanted to make them.

The only problem with all of this was that my parent's didn't let me cook or bake until I was 18 ish. By the time I reached that age, I went off to college near by and ate fast food and frozen meals when I was hungry for lunch on campus. And then for dinner, my mom would cook. Cooking was never sometime I did. I watched my mom cook though. I loved watching, because I wanted to learn.

I started dating my husband, then boyfriend, at age 21. He rented an apartment close to campus, and that's where I started cooking. That year, I graduated and we moved in together to a different apartment close to my engineering job, and that's when I started baking. He got me a KitchenAid mixer during Black friday that year, and all my baking adventures begun.

And cream puffs were one of the first desserts I made. Fast forward 5 years, and now I bake and do everything desserts. EVERYTHING. From fancy puff pastries and croissants to macarons and cake decorating. I'm always learning new tricks, but every time I make cream puffs, I remember the days where I had zero baking and decorating skills. =]

This weekend, my husband has to go to work on Sunday. He currently works at Yahoo, mostly programming to keep the Sports webpage up and running. And this weekend, there will be major traffic for Fantasy Sports. So I decided to make his co-workers some treats for their busy day!

Enough with the stories. Here is the recipe! Every time I make this, my friends and family can't get enough. And it's quite easy!!


Pastry Cream:
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tps vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 tps salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Chocolate Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbs milk
1/2 Tbs corn syrup
1 tps vanilla extract
2 oz chocolate chips, semi sweet
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Make the pastry cream first. Start with scalding the milk in a sauce pan, do not let it boil.
3. While the milk is heating up, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. After the milk is scalding, slowly dribble it into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Then return all the liquid back in the sauce pan.
5. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil while whisking constantly. It should take a minute or two. The mixture should thicken up a lot.
6. Remove from heat, and add vanilla extract and salt. Adjust to taste. Let cool completely. We will mix in the whipped heavy cream after it cools.

7. To make the dough, boil the water and butter. Then stir in the flour and salt. The dough should come together.
8. Transfer the dough to your stand mixer bowl, and with the paddle attachment on low, add one egg at a time. Mix until all eggs are combined into the dough. It will be sticky.
9. Transfer the dough to a piping bag, and pipe blobs/rounds onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Or you can spoon the mixture on to the baking sheet if you don't have a piping bag.
10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
11. Poke a hole on the side of each cream puff after baking to release out the air to prevent the inside from being too soggy. Cool on baking rack.

12. After the pastry cream has cooled. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture. Pipe the filling into each cream puff.

13. Now time to make the chocolate glaze. This step is optional. Cream puffs aren't traditionally glazed, but my husband likes them glazed. Start by combining the milk, butter, corn syrup and vanilla in a very small sauce pan over medium heat.
14. After the butter melts, add the chocolate. Whisk to combine evenly. After the chocolate melts, turn off the heat. Add the powdered sugar. Whisk to combine. Now you may begin dipping. If the chocolate thickens, return to the stove and heat for 1 minute.

The above picture is the tray of chocolate dipped cream puffs I made for the co-workers. =]

Chocolate Cloud Meringue Cookies

I went on a month long vacation recently to New Jersey and New York. Which also put my house hunting to a pause. However, upon returning from vacation late last week, my husband and I went back to house shopping that weekend. I guess we did not get jet lag or tired from the flight. There's a point to this story. A delicious one. In one of the houses we saw, they had a platter of cookies. They appeared to be normal brownie cookies. Until you bite into one, it was like a meringue macaron type brownie cookie.

The outside was a hard, crunchy and crispy shell. The inside was like a brownie, but it melted in your mouth. Together, it was something similar to a macaron, but the outside was more like a meringue. Whatever it is, I fell in love. I set out on a mission to try to recreate this dessert.

After the first try. I made something similar, but not still on the dot. I decided to call them Chocolate Cloud Meringue Cookies. The shell is a delicate crispy. Much like a macaron. The inside is melt in your mouth brownie and chocolate heaven. I'm happy with the inside, but want a more harder and crunchy shell, so I will continue to alter this recipe until I get as close as possible to that open-house crunchy brownie cookie dessert. I hope I get the recipe correct soon!

But I do like this accidental dessert, so I will share the recipe with you! These are nothing like you had before!

2 large egg whites
1/8 tps cream of tartar
1/2 tps vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 oz semisweet chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every 15 seconds.
3. Add the chopped walnuts in to the chocolate, allow to cool slightly.
4. Whip the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing on medium and add the sugar gradually.
5. Turn the mixer on high, and whip until stiff peaks form.
6. Fold in 1/3 of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites, being very gentle. Continue to add more chocolate mixture until fully incorporated.
7. Scoop a tablespoon worth onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or mat. I get about 12 scoops on my tray. Bake for 18 minutes. Or until dry on top.
8. Allow to cool before peeling off. Enjoy!

The recipe makes about 24 cookies.

I decided to call them chocolate cloud meringue cookies, because when you scoop them onto the baking tray, they look like a soft chocolate cloud. And then of course, the outside is meringue like and it looks like a cookie. I thought it would be too long to add the word 'brownie' in the name, but also because it doesn't define a brownie. Brownies have flour and butter, which this cookie does not!

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