Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chicken Puffs

About once a month I get together with a bunch of other moms and have a potluck luncheon at the park. I was thinking about what to do this morning for today's get-together, and remembered the delicious cream puffs some friends brought over on Sunday: light and crispy with a layered creaminess inside. I couldn't remember the last time I'd made puffs, so I thought I'd try a savory kind. Cream puff shells stuffed with chicken salad sounded like they'd be just right for lots of little hands reaching for something to eat on the table. With the light shell and creamy chicken salad inside, they needed a crunch to round them out, so I added a thin slice of cucumber and then topped it with a little wedge of fresh orange to add some sparkle to the bite. I wish I'd had watercress!! Yum! Perfect for a few bites of something yummy to hold when you've got to chase down an errant 3-year old.

1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 cups flour
8 eggs
Preheat oven to 400. Bring butter, water and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until mixture comes together in a ball. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs one at a time until well combined. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, poke a little vent in the top of each puff, and let cool on wire rack. When cooled, cut off top and fill with desired filling. Or, instead of cutting of top, you can pipe your favorite pudding filling inside and frost with chocolate ganache. Makes about 40 puffs. I actually doubled the original recipe for this, so if you don't need so many, go ahead and cut the ingredients in half, following the same directions.

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