I tried these, not ever having made cream puffs before, as kind of a challenge when I was putting my food together for New Year’s Eve. An eclair is basically a cream puff that you put in a line using a pastry bag rather than just by a mound of dough. I was NOT very consistent in my sizes and they should have been bigger. I also could have taken a better picture as I’ve gotten numerous comments about what they look like. Anywho, I had a lot of problems getting it on the pan correctly and in the end I just squeezed a bunch out into mounds (hence the round things). Not quite a cream puff on those but close. If (when) I try these again I will probably just focus on making a cream puff and partially dip in chocolate rather than covering the whole thing. Filling them wasn’t that hard. I just make vanilla pudding, put it in another pastry bag and squeezed it into the eclairs.
(Both recipes taken from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Bridal Edition)
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 TSP salt
1 cup all purpose flour
In a medium saucepan combine water, butter and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball (it will take a while). Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
For cream puffs – drop 12 heaping tablespoons of dough onto a greased baking sheet. For eclairs – spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe 12 strips each 4 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3/4 inch high (yeah right). It said 1/2 inch but I think it needs to be larger than that. As an alternate to a pastry bag you can use a zip lock bag and cut one corner off. This will also allow you to control the size of the opening.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Cut off the tops of the cream puffs, fill with choice of filling and place the tops back on. For the eclairs you’ll need to pipe the filling in as described above. You may need to cut it open a bit and remove some of the insides.
Semisweet Chocolate Icing
In a small saucepan heat 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 TBSP butter, 1 TBSP light corn syrup and 1/4 TSP vanilla over low heat, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Immediately dip the puffs/eclairs in the icing to coat. Lay on parchment paper to cool/dry. The icing won’t harden completely so be careful when you move them.