It's been a week or two! It feels like so much has happened and then nothing at all. It's rained the last two days, making it hard to get the dogs (or myself) motivated to do much more than want to stretch out on the couch and watch Netflix or a Disney movie. But I still have my chores, I still want to make this house feel alive when Nolan comes home after a 12 hour day. I still check the chickens (we haven't lost one yet!) and do the dishes and sometimes I forget and let the pans soak too long.
Last Wednesday, I went to Philadelphia to see Molly. She was speaking at an event and had the morning to spare; and I, conversely, wanted to see my best friend, Carissa, before she went off to eat afternoon tea in London. We had a tea tasting with Alexis and then ate at Rooster Soup and Goldie! And I was a happy little clam dropping Molly off at the terminal and not being sick of her! And then it was a 5 hour drive home where I listened to LP and a very poorly narrated Wuthering Heights audiobook on Spotify.
This week also meant some free shit, thanks to Alex, who gave me a hand-me-down Nespresso. Nolan already bought a 70-count sampler and we are slowly going through them already. Very European in this little farm house in Ligonier.
My dad came out to meet the chickens and then we went to a diner. He got a cheeseburger, I got oatmeal. I promise to shoot the chickens soon so everyone can meet them (especially our favorite, whom we named Kelly)--they already have feathers and our blonde one is turning white. It reminds me of when Elsa was a baby and her stomach was spotted and now she is a 50-lb lazy teenage dog who doesn't get out of bed until 10. Then grow up so fast.
Today, I'm going to the Chamber of Commerce in an hour to talk about volunteering in the community and maybe picking up some extra work for baking. Stay tuned, but for now--cream puffs!
I have said before that I am not the best piping person (I've only done it three times I can remember) and I was a little nervous to make these. But, like most things with baking, it's the nerves that make it so satisfying when it's complete. I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe that I was referred to and think they're pretty cute for a first time. Plus, the white chocolate hides the problem areas.
Oh, and of course they're topped with sprinkles for a little nod to my pal, Molly!
White Chocolate and Lemon Cream Puffs
- 1 cup water
- 8 TB unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 TB white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, mix together water, butter, sugar, and salt and heat on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon
- When it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat and stir in the flour, and stir vigorously
- Return to heat and continue stirring for a minute or until a dough forms and pulls away from the saucepan sides
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with a paddle attachment for about three minutes or until it begins to cool
- Mix in each egg, one at a time, and your vanilla and continue mixing for a minute or so until a sticky, but solid, dough forms
- Transfer to a piping bag
Preparation and Decoration: Preheat oven to 375*F. On 2 parchment or Silpat-covered sheets, pipe our your circles, about 2 inches in diameter. Tap the tops with a wetted finger to flatten slightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed and golden. Once done, allow to cool on a rack, poking each with a tooth pick to vent any steam.
When cooled, use a clean piping bag and small tip, fill bag with a jar of lemon curd (or homemade!) and break the bottom of each and pipe in your curd.
Next, melt 16 oz of white chocolate in a double broiler (or even a microwave) and dip each in. Sprinkle with a bit of sprinkle and allow to cool.
They can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge!