Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Maple Pecan Sauce

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From: Better Homes and Gardens
Makes about 10 servings

Thanksgiving Recipe #2: Something sweet to take us from feeling just stuffed at the end of our dinner to a full-blown food coma. And nothing says November like pumpkin, maple and pecans. Something cute and unexpected to offset the traditional pie-and-ice-cream combo. I’ve never made a cream puff before and I can honestly say these were a joy to make; they’re just so cute and fun and there’s something really satisfying about making something homemade that actually looks like what it’s supposed to look like (that does not happen to me often. Exhibit A: My “Rustic” Culgoriones).

Similar to the risotto recipe I just posted, I tripled this recipe to serve 14 people on Thanksgiving day and it turned out perfectly, so feel free to multiply this recipe as many times as you need. Overall these were a big crowd pleaser. Soft, flaky puffed dough and fall-spiced, slightly sweet pumpkin cream in the center, all topped off with a buttery caramel maple sauce and sprinkled with crushed pecans on top. Although they’re pretty time consuming to make, not only is the process fun, but it’s also totally worth it.

Ingredients:

For the cream puffs-

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs

For the filling-

  • cup whipping cream
  • tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • cup canned pumpkin

For the sauce-

  • tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

    For the cream puffs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.Drop 8 heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack and let cool.

    For the sauce: In a small heavy saucepan stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in half-and-half or light cream, water, pure maple syrup, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly (mixture may appear curdled before it bubbles). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

    For the filling: In a chilled large mixing bowl beat whipping cream, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice with the chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Fold in canned pumpkin. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours.

Using a serrated knife, cut each cream puff in half horizontally; remove soft dough from inside. Fill cream puffs with Pumpkin Mousse. Replace tops. Spoon some of the warm Maple-Caramel Sauce onto eight dessert plates; sprinkle with some of the toasted pecans. Place a filled cream puff on top of the sauce on each plate. Drizzle each cream puff with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Makes 8 servings.

Happy dining!!

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