Holiday Sweets!

Elizabella’s Lemon Cream Puffs

One of my favorite family recipes for holidays and special occasions. –Elizabella

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding mix (box is about 3 to 3.5 oz.)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream

Use Royal pudding mix if possible; it has a stronger lemon flavor than Jell-O pudding.

Cream Puffs:
Preheat oven to 425ºF
In a large pot, heat the water and butter to a rolling boil
Wait until the butter has melted, then add the flour
Stir until the mixture jumps off the sides of the pot
Transfer the ball of dough to the food processor or a mixer
Pulse the food processor/mixer a few times
Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next
Prepare a cookie sheet (parchment paper or one of those great silicone mats)
Drop by tablespoon onto the cookie sheet
Bake at 425ºF for 25 minutes or so, until each puff is golden brown and dry
Use a fork to pierce the side of each puff to let the steam out
Let cool for at least a half-hour
Cut each puff in half (or cut the top third off, for an elf-hat effect)
If there’s a bit of dough in the bottom, pull it out and throw it away
Add the filling

Filling:
Pour the milk into a bowl
Add the lemon pudding mix
Beat with a whisk or electric mixer
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream
Fold the whipped cream into the pudding

 

Malachi’s Peppermint Fudge

I started with an Alton Brown recipe and tinkered with it a bit.  –Malachi

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or half cup heavy cream, half cup skim)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon peppermint extract

I suggest using a candy thermometer, as my first attempt without one had the density and edibility of a ceramic plate.

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, crushed candy canes, chocolate, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup.
  2. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted.
  3. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover and using a candy thermometer, cook until the thermometer reads 234ºF.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir.
  7. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130ºF.
  8. Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with butter.
  9. Add peppermint extract and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture dulls. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. Let sit in cool dry area until firm, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
  12. If desired, roll the cut pieces in crushed candy cane bits.