Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Cream-Puff Hearts

#Middlebury #DonnasDay #ValentinesDay

Cream puffs look so fancy, but they are easy to make from scratch with your kids. Really! Give them a try for a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. This heart-shaped version with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream between the layers is a delicious treat for celebrating with your family.

Valentine’s Cream-Puff Hearts make a tasty treat.

Cream-Puff Hearts
(Makes 12)

1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Strawberries or raspberries, for serving (optional)
Chocolate sauce or confectioner’s sugar, for serving

To prepare baking sheets: Let your school-age child draw 12 3-by-3-inch heart shapes with a pencil on 2 sheets of parchment paper cut to fit 2 cookie sheets. Press hard enough as you draw so that you see the hearts on the reverse side. (If you need a pattern for drawing the hearts, cut out a heart from an index card, or simply use a similar-size cookie cutter.) Turn the parchment over and lay on cookie sheets.

To prepare dough: An adult should heat the water with the butter and salt to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Stir in the flour over low heat until the mixture is smooth and forms a ball. Remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes. Place in a mixing bowl.

Let your child crack the eggs in a small bowl, then pour the contents into the bowl with the flour mixture, and beat with an electric mixer. At first the mixture will look like scrambled eggs. Continue beating until smooth and shiny.

To form each heart: Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto the center of each heart shape on the cookie sheets. (I use an ice-cream scoop.) Let your kids spread the dough with their fingers to form each heart shape. After practice, I discovered that the top “V” of the heart should be extra-wide and low to compensate for the expansion of the dough. The bottom “V” shape of the heart should be narrow and pointed.

To bake: Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden. Remove from oven; cut a small slit in the sides to release steam and to cool.

To serve: Slice each cream-puff heart crosswise. Spoon whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream on the bottom half. Set top half over filling. Top with raspberries or sliced strawberries (cut vertically to make thin heart shapes), if you wish. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top or, for a lighter touch, let your preschooler use a strainer to dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

(c) 2018 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Synd.


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