Filled with velvety Peppermint Pastry Cream, these airy pâte à choux puffs combine French elegance with holiday flair. We used crushed peppermint candies to lend refreshing sweetness to the pastry cream, and a dusting of peppermint sugar over the Peppermint Cream Puffs makes for a simple, festive finish. The choux pastry is easier to make than you think, the only ingredient you need to make it a success is Président® butter. The high fat content in Président® makes the dough extra light and airy, and lends it a rustic golden color that makes these Peppermint Cream Puffs look just as delicious as they taste.
Peppermint Cream Puffs
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (127 grams) Président unsalted butter
- ½ cup (120 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
- ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 1¼ cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
- 6 large eggs (300 grams), room temperature and divided
- 1 large egg white (30 grams), room temperature
- Peppermint Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
- 2 tablespoons (16 grams) finely crushed soft peppermint candies
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- Garnish: crushed soft peppermint candies
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Using a permanent marker and a 2-inch round cutter as a guide, draw 24 circles evenly spaced onto 2 sheets of parchment paper. Turn parchment over, and place on 2 baking sheets.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, granulated sugar, and salt; bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until a skin forms on bottom of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat until dough is warm to the touch, about 1 minute. Add 5 eggs (250 grams) and egg white, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
- Transfer batter to an 18-inch piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip (Wilton 1A). Place piping tip in center of a drawn circle. Hold tip perpendicular ½ inch above parchment paper. Holding tip stationary the entire time, apply even pressure until batter reaches edges of drawn circle. Stop applying pressure, and lift up. Wet your finger with water, and press down tip to create a smooth top. Repeat with remaining batter. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush tops of batter rounds with egg wash.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pans, and bake until fully puffed and deep golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on wire racks.
- Using a ¼-inch round piping tip, poke a hole in center of bottom of each puff. Insert a skewer into hole, and move it around to ensure cream will fill entire puff. Place Peppermint Pastry Cream in a pipping bag fitted with same ¼-inch tip. Place piping tip into hole, and apply gentle pressure to fill. Repeat with remaining puffs and remaining Peppermint Pastry Cream.
- When ready to plate, stir together crushed peppermint candies and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust peppermint sugar mixture onto cream puffs. Garnish with peppermint candy pieces, if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served same day.
Peppermint Pastry Cream
- 3 cups (720 grams) whole milk
- ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons (48 grams) cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 4 large egg yolks (74 grams)
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) peppermint extract
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (32 grams) finely crushed soft peppermint candies
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk and ⅓ cup (66.5 grams) sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until bubbles form around edge of pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, salt, and remaining ⅓ cup (66.5 grams) sugar. Whisk in yolks until well combined. (Mixture will be very thick.) Gradually add milk mixture to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 190°F (88°C), 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts until butter is melted. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to use, whisk pastry cream until smooth; stir in crushed peppermint candies. Use immediately.
To finely crush soft peppermint candies, place in a medium resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush candies; continue to roll over candies in bag with rolling pin until finely crushed (peppermint pieces no larger than ⅛ inch thick).
Peppermint Pastry Cream can be made through step 3 up to 4 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Stir in finely crushed peppermint candies just before ready to use.