Pate a Choux Recipe (Cream Puff Pastry)

Hello lovelies!

This past weekend, I was craving for some Pate a choux. I haven’t had any of these bad boys in so long. If I can remember, the last time I had this was on my wedding day, which was over five years ago. Since I’ve been working at home during the weekends lately, I decided to make my own Pate a choux. Pate a choux is a classic French, light pastry dough that is also used to make eclairs. Some people also make this into savory cheese pugs but I just simply like it as a dessert treat. I filled mine with vanilla pudding but I heard you can fill it with ice cream as well. These bad boys are so easy to make and yet delightful to the taste.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. Transfer to a pastry bag or in my case a Ziploc bag with a 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe 1-inch rounds onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake in 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Transfer over to a wire rack; let cool completely. Puffs can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day or frozen up to 1 month. You can add any filling you like after this. I made sugar-free vanilla pudding. Ta Da! Now you got yourself, a delightful dessert. Enjoy!

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CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

If you love Reese’s Peanut Buttercups or Reese’s Pieces as much as my husband does, you will love these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! They are chewy with a slightly crisp edge, making these the best cookies ever! I am very picky when it comes to the texture of cookies. I love my cookies chewy and soft. So this is my go-to recipe when I want some yummy chocolate chip cookies. Get your milk ready, its cookie time!

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Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter chips

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Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. With a mixer, mix butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips. Use a melon scooper to scoop out dough. Drop dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, for about 8-10 minutes. Optional: add extra chocolate chips on top. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Enjoy!

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BASIC MACARON RECIPE

I have always been a big fan of French Macarons. Maybe it’s because I cannot get over how darn cute they are! Perhaps it is the beautiful colors and the crunchy-chewy texture. Before I tempted to make these, I actually did some research and read so many horror stories of how delicate these babies are. After many attempts, I finally master them. I figure out that all it needs is some patience and loving touch.

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Basic Macarons with Almond Buttercream

Ingredients:

Macaron Shells

100 grams (1 1/8 cup) ground almonds

100-110 grams (3 eggs) egg whites, aged 1 day at room temperature

200 grams (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar

45 grams (4 tablespoons) granulated sugar

Buttercream filling

5 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

80 grams powdered sugar (1/2 cup)

1 tbsp. almond extract

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Directions:

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Sift to get rid of any large pieces. Mix the powdered sugar together with the ground almonds in a food processor. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.

Fold the dry mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Do not over mix! Put your piping bag in a tall glass and fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets. The shells will flatten, so do not make them too big. About 1 inch is enough. Let them set for 30 minutes to form a dry skin.

Heat the oven to 150 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven. Keep a close eye on them the last couple of minutes as they brown easily. Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets.

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Fillings:

Add the powdered sugar to the soft, room temperature butter. Beat the two together until fluffy. Add a tablespoon of almond extract and beat a little more until incorporated. I like to be precise, so I pipe the filling and sandwich the macaron shells together. You are now done!

You can use any type of filling you like, my favorites are buttercreams, but you can use ganaches or jams. Macarons can be eaten right away, but if you cannot devour them all in one section, you can put them carefully in a box with an air tight lid and refrigerate them. Enjoy!

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CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUES

I picked up this book several months ago and stumble upon many delicious recipes. The one recipe that stuck to me and definitely was a must to try: Salty Tart by Michelle Gayer. Her recipe for Chewy Chocolate Meringues is delightful. And what makes it even better is that it only needs four ingredients. How easy is that?

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Chopped bittersweet chocolate and 5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.

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1 cup egg whites, 7 eggs and 2 cups of sugar. In a heat proof bowl whisk the two until sugar is completely dissolved. Then using an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture until becomes stiff.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE

Gently fold together the chopped chocolate over the meringue until incorporated. Then scoop them out using an ice cream scoop. Place it in the oven for about 9 minutes. And…

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Ta Da! It is that easy. And once you eat them, you definitely cannot stop. They are super addicting!

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It is crunchy on the outside and filled with gooey yumminess in the inside. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup egg whites (about 7)

2 cups sugar

5 Tbs. natural cocoa powder

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 oz. cocoa nibs

Directions:

Space 2 racks evenly in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a clean, dry, heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan. Whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg mixture on high speed until stiff and glossy. Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue. Sprinkle with the chocolate and cocoa nibs, then fold together gently with a rubber spatula until combined.

Drop the meringue by heaping tablespoons, spaced slightly apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake until the cookies are fluffy, full of cracks and spring back when touched, about 9 minutes more. Carefully pick up the parchment sheets and transfer the cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks to cool. Makes about 2 dozen meringues.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).

CHRISTMAS THEMED BAPTISM

Happy Friday! Today I would like to share another party or event that I created. We had our son baptized when he was about 3 months old. After the Baptism, we had a celebration at the house. Any time we have a party, I am the kind of person that will try to incorporate a theme and have a dessert table. Well since my son’s Baptism was right around the corner from Christmas, I thought I would incorporate a Christmas themed Baptism. I mean since the decorations was going to go up one way or the other, why not put it to use for a Baptism event.

I planned for a warm tone color theme, so I used brown and white. Now for the food, it was all made by my mother. She is the most awesome cook in the world. Literally! I have to say, we are very blessed to have her. And for the desserts and decorations, it was all made by me. It is always great to have family together to celebrate an occasion like this.

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If you would like any recipes on the food, please let me know in the comment section below. Now for the desserts, I will definitely post the recipes up soon. Thank you for reading! You all have a wonderful weekend!

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Today I thought I would share with you these yummy strawberry cupcakes. I am longing for spring, which is actually right around the corner. And what is better for spring than these delicious strawberry cupcakes?

All through my life I have always loved to bake and especially after becoming a wife and mother. I saw these strawberry cupcakes with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream from the book of Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes and this was my first attempt making it. I pureed fresh strawberries which makes it the perfect complement to the strawberry cake. Plus the Swiss meringue buttercream is fluffy and absolutely melts in your mouth.

So what makes this cupcake so marvelous? The moist cake that is full with tons of chopped fresh strawberries and the strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream that is absolutely to die for. My husband was the first taste-tester and the reaction on his face was priceless. Although the process is a little time consuming but it is definitely worth it when your love ones enjoy it. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

10 ounces diced strawberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 1/2 standard 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition. Fold in strawberries.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups so that each is about two-thirds full, about 2 ounces each. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire racks.

5. Pipe Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (see below for recipe) on top of each cupcake. If you like, garnish with strawberries.

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Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Ingredients 

4 large egg whites

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry, pureed in a food processor

Directions 

1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch.

2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in pureed strawberries with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

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Thank you for reading!

CIRCUS THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY

Hello Everyone!  Today’s post will be dedicated to all you party planners out there. I put this birthday party together for my daughter’s 3rd birthday two years ago. It was a Big Top Circus Carnival party. It took me several months to plan and make all the decorations. It was a lot of work but yet so much fun. We served hot dogs, snow cones, nachos, chips, lemonade and TONS of sweets. We also had Groovy the Clown who did face painting and fun games with awesome prizes.

It was one heck of a day! I was eight months pregnant with my second child. I was on my feet all day and hosting on an empty stomach, but towards the end of the day, my 3-year-old ran up to me, gave me a hug and said, ‘Mommy, I love you. Thank you for my party’. Those words were enough to make me full. Definitely worth going through all that trouble to celebrate the day my baby was born.

Come one, Come all

To the Greatest Show on Earth

Welcome to Chloe’s Circus Carnival of fun…

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These are all the items I put together myself with the assistance of The Mr., who was definitely a big help throughout the party.

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I made this guest book so guest can line up to have their Polaroid photo taken. They will then tape it on the guest book and write a little message for the birthday girl, but unfortunately, the Polaroid that I purchased wasn’t working. So I ended up using it as her photo album.

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The colorful centerpieces I made for the tables.

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 I inflated colorful beach balls and set them inside the moonwalk.

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Our yummy desserts… I had cotton candy bags, gummy worms, Pixi Stix, cupcakes and caramel apples that I made.

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We served hot dogs, nachos, chips, snow cones and lemonade.

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Here is the birthday girl with Groovy the Clown.

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It was time to sing ‘Happy Birthday’!

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And here is the rainbow cake that I made…

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If you want the rainbow cake recipe, let me know. Thank you for reading. You all have a wonderful weekend!