Recipe: St. Patrick's Day Cream Puffs

There are so many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but this way is my favorite. Cream puffs are a wonderful dessert to customize–a little food coloring and you’ve got a dessert that matches your holiday, your party theme, even your outfit (if you’re into color-coordinating with your food). You can fill your cream puffs with anything you like–pudding, pastry cream, chicken salad, twenty-dollar bills. My favorite, though, is simple whipped cream with some fresh vanilla beans. Mmmm!

Make these for your St. Patrick’s Day party, and I guarantee that you’ll be so amazed with how easy and delicious they are, you’ll pinch yourself!

Colored Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
5-6 drops of food coloring
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil and add food coloring. Stir in the flour with a fork and mix until smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon dough in heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Cool completely.

Cut open and spoon out any soft innards and fill with your desired filling just before serving. Garnish with powdered sugar.

Whipped Cream Filling with Vanilla Beans

1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 inches of fresh vanilla bean, split and stripped

Directions
In a chilled mixing bowl, mix cream, sugar, vanilla, and stripped vanilla beans on high speed until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.

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