I’ll often make a huge batch of these pastries when I have some friends over, mostly during the weekend. They’re so savory and easy to whip up. Cream Puffs & white wine = match made in snack heaven. What more can you ask for?
You can prepare them ahead of time and just pop them in the oven at the moment supreme. You can fill them with anything you like: any type of cheese you like or add some finely minced bell pepper, chili pepper or spring onions. Some browned ground beef or even a few sauteed mushrooms and/or thinly sliced pepperoni are great, too. Maybe incorporate a little (canned) fruit. Just knock yourself out!
We like this simple, basic version best here at the Kayotic Mansion. I know… I’m so common, it’s sad.
3 to 4 puff pastry sheets
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp Italian herbs
2 tbsp Parmesan
1/2 small shallot
sun dried tomato
I’ve made 6 larger cream puffs with the ingredients listed above, but used cups that were fairly big.
I’ve finely minced half a small shallot. It adds so much flavor! You could do this with onion as well, but I prefer the more delicate flavor of shallots.
I’ve also finely minced 1 large sun dried tomato—just to add a little touch of summer.
I’m cheating; I’m using 1 tbsp frozen Italian herbs. If you go for dried herbs, I wouldn’t use more than 1 tsp.
I’ve combined 4 heaping tbsp cream cheese (about 4 oz), with the minced shallot, sun-dried tomato and Italian herbs.
I personally think fresh garlic is too overpowering for these pastries, but don’t let me stop you! In stead, I’ve opted for Lawry’s garlic salt (onion salt also works really well) and a generous amount of black pepper. Play with spices and herbs, lots of different combinations work for this recipe.
I’ve also added two tbsp pre-grated, canned and undoubtedly highly processed Parmesan. No, no, no. Don’t be hatin’. There is no shame in using this! You really think those store-bought cookies you’ve polished off this morning are any better? Ha! :)
Depending on what you choose to put in there, you end up with a huge pile of…. stuff.
Whisk (the stuff) until you have a creamy, fluffy spread. I like saying stuff. Not sure why.
Defrost as many pastry sheets as you need. I needed about 3 of them.
If my son wouldn’t have used my muffin pan for shady toddler purposes, I would have grabbed it and simply used a cookie cutter with a 1 1/4 inch bigger inside diameter than the interior of the muffins. See photo below. It would have given a nice finishing touch to the edges as well.
Alas, no such luck. He did use it for shady purposes involving lots of sand, leaving me with only these silicone cups. Cups that were perhaps a tad bit too big for the job. They do look cheerful, though.
Old school. I’ve placed the cups on top of the pastry sheets and cut the dough, around the curve, in a 1 inch bigger circle than the diameter of my cup.
Gently push the dough into the cup. The edges will wrinkle up a little. There will be folds and other irregularities. Resist the urge to flatten it; it’ll make the puffs look better and prettier when baked!
Fill the cup with the cream cheese mix. It’s not supposed to be a mini-cheesecake, so be moderate. You only want to create a flavored layer on top of the pastry.
Fill all of them and pop them in a preheated oven. Bake at 400F (200C) for about 20 to 25 minutes. Just keep an eye on them. You want them golden brown and fluffy.
These beauties are best served warm, and trust me when I say you’ll need large quantities!