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Pastry Puffs

These classic pastry puffs (also called choux puffs) are easier to make than you think, so give them a try! They're the base for many well-known nibbles, such as cheese puffs (gougeres), cream puffs, profiteroles, and eclairs, and are great in an array of fun sweet or savory treats. Plus, they store and freeze well, so you can serve them during the holiday season and beyond.

Tools and Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Large zip-top bag

Pastry Puffs How-To

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a small saucepan, bring water, butter, and sugar to a boil over high.

2. Immediately remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in all-purpose flour. Continue to stir until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes.

3. 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).

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

5. Use pastry puffs to make dainty deserts:

Fill with lemon curd using the same method in Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Cream Puffs. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Halve and spread with sweetened ricotta and finely grated lemon zest. Top with Citrus Glaze.

Coat in caramel sauce and sprinkle with chopped cashews. Halve, fill with ice cream, and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Sandwich a mini marshmallow and piece of chocolate between halves. Bake until chocolate melts.