This recipe is so versatile! You can fill them with many different fillings, dip them, slice them and stuff them...add a little parmesan to the dough to make them into gougeres; the possibilities are endless.
Freezable and definitely a hit at parties, you must learn to make them! Personally, I think the grain-free version actually holds up better than the AP flour one.
*Visit the link above to see pics of the process.*
So not be intimidated by this recipe. It's as easy to make as whipping up a batch of cookies. Promise.
First thing is first. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Mise en place. Translates, everything in its place. This is an important step in this recipe because there is not any in between time to rush off and try to gather ingredients to measure out. Get all you ingredients measured and supplies together.
Begin melting your butter or coconut oil in the saucepan over medium heat.
While your oil is melting, mix together your arrowroot powder and water into a slurry. Be sure to incorporate all of the arrowroot powder. Set aside.
Once oil is completely melted and is getting hot, not smoking yet, but nice and hot (there’s no necessary temp to reach here), give your slurry another quick stir to make sure none of the arrowroot settled to the bottom and slowly pour the slurry into the hot oil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Continue stirring as the batter thickens. You will likely need to hold the handle with one hand as you stir with the other because it gets pretty difficult. The batter will come away from the pan and eventually resemble “The Blob”. The blob will be pretty stiff. Once you have a blob, remove from heat and transfer to your stand mixer or bowl.
Turn your mixer on medium speed. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between each one. Turn mixer on high and beat the dough until it becomes pale in color, no more lumps appear, and the dough appears sticky.
To test your batter, take a pinch between your fingers and pull them apart. If your dough stretches, then you’re ready. If not, return to the mixer and beat for another minute or so. At this point you can use the batter right away, or refrigerate it up to a day until ready to bake.
Place your dough into a piping bag or gallon sized zip lock. Snip the tip, or corner of the bag, respectively. Pipe out 12, 1 ½ - 2 inch blobs onto your baking pan, using up about ½ of the batter. They don’t need to look pretty. Alternately, drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking pan. It’s not crucial to pipe, they just may not be as perfectly round.
Note: Use a wide, flat-tipped fitting on your piping bag and pipe out thick lines to make éclairs.
Place the pan into the hot oven and cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Bake only one sheet at a time. Put remaining dough in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
Best if filled before storing (if filling can be frozen), but can be stored unfilled. Store in the freezer up to a month. Freeze by placing filled puffs on a baking sheet and freezing for an hour. After an hour, can be placed in layers in a parchment lined freezer safe Tupperware, separated by layers of parchment. Alternatively, store layered separated by parchment papers in an airtight container in the refrigerator a few days. Do not leave unfilled pastry on the counter. It will become hard and brittle. To defrost, simply take out and let come to room temperature.
Fill with desired filling by puncturing a hole in the side with the tip of a piping bag and squeezing in the filling, or slice in half and sandwich the filling between two halves.
Sweet Ideas: Fill with sweetened whipped cream, pastry cream, sweetened whipped coconut cream, strained sweetened yogurt or kefir, custard, thickened jams/jellies/preserves, butter-cream, fresh fruit or dip them in bittersweet chocolate or carob.
Savory Ideas: Fill with herbed cream cheese, dip in pate, fill with shredded seasoned meat, seasoned ground meat, egg salad, tuna salad, smoked salmon and cream cheese, or marinated vegetables.
WARNING: Do not try to put vanilla or honey into the batter. It will not puff! I'm not sure why, but this has been confirmed.