My son has a routine at preschool with his favorite teacher. They have pretend food and he starts each day at school by finding a play eclair and bringing it to his teacher who then pretends to eat it. He’s been talking about eclairs for months now and when Everyday Food published a recipe for Cream Puffs with instructions to make them into Eclairs I knew I had to make them. This was my trial run because I’m going to make a batch to send to school for his teacher for Christmas. I was really surprised at how easy they were to make. I’m going to make them again for a party this weekend.

Pastry Puffs for Eclairs

(adapted from Everyday Food, December 2010 issue)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, bring water, butter, and sugar to a boil over high. Immediately remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Continue to stir until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until batter comes together. Transfer batter to a large zip-top bag; twist and squeeze bag so batter is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 1/2-inch opening in corner (or use a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round plain tip).

Pipe batter into 2-inch-long-ovals, 1 inch apart, onto sheets. With a wet finger, smooth pointy tops. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until puffs are golden brown and feel light and hollow inside, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Use a toothpick or skewer to make a 1/4-inch-wide hole in one end of each pastry puff. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream to firm peaks. Sweeten with confectioners sugar to taste and transfer mixture to a zip-top bag or pastry bag with a 1/4-inch opening. Place tip of bag into hole in puff and squeeze to fill with cream mixture. Place filled puffs on a rimmed baking sheet. (Refrigerate while you make the glaze.)

In a medium heatproof bowl, combine 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, and 1 Tbsp corn syrup. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil. Immediately pour over chocolate and let sit 2 minutes. Stir until mixture is smooth. Dip top half of each puff into chocolate glaze (or pour on top) and place glaze side up, on baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered, 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours).

Ironically my son refused to try these but my daughter and my husband both liked them.