Pink Strawberry Cheesecake Chouquettes
Happy 2021 ya'll! We officially made it and now we all deserve medals! haha While, I don't have a medal for you but I do have a yummy new recipe to kick off the new year. Strawberry Cheesecake Chouquettes!
I know it sounds super fancy but they're really just cream puffs with a pink craquelin top. Why pink? Because if you know anything, pink is always better. If you're Mexican or ever had Conchas (Pan dulce or sweet bread), they come in brown, white, and pink. Everyone always eats the pink. It's just simply the best, no questions asked.
The pink craquelin top takes a tiny bit more effort to make ahead of time but honestly it really makes it and just gives that hint of sweet you need but not too sweet. It's a quick dough made up of butter, brown sugar, and flour. It forms a play dough consistency. You roll it out flat in between 2 pieces of parchment paper or saran wrap and slide it into your freezer until frozen. Then, depending on how big you pipe out your cream puffs you use a circle cookie cutter (or anything else circular you want) to cut out small discs and place them right on top of our piped out cream puff.
When you bake it, it forms this cracked slightly crunchy top and it's perfect! Cream puffs are made from a French dough called pate a choux and it's such a versatile dough. It's the same dough used for eclairs and about a million other recipes. You can also use it for savory dishes! It seems intimidating the first time you read through the recipe but honestly they're way easier than macarons.
The dough is very eggy and uses only a few ingredients honestly. Because it's such an egg forward simple dough and the taste really comes through it's always best with GOOD eggs. Fresh is always best but unfortunately I don't have my own chickens (just yet ;) ) so I buy Egglands Best eggs. I kind of didn't even know eggs could actually taste better than others. I thought my whole life that an egg was an egg until I started buying Egglands Best. They have 6x more vitamin D, 25% less saturated fat AND their hens are fed all-vegetarian hen feed that contains healthy grains, canola oil and a wholesome supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp, and Vitamin E.
You can find a bunch more tips and info on my other recipe post for cream puffs here! But for now, I'm going to dive into the recipe! Please let me know what you think!
Pink Strawberry Cheesecake Chouquettes
PREP TIME: 35 minutes
BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes
MAKES: around 30 1.5" piped out cream puffs
1 stick unsalted butter (softened to room temp)
pinch of salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*pink food coloring optional
CREAM PUFF DOUGH:
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons water
7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sifted)
4-5 eggs (room temperature)
fresh sliced strawberries
1 package cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
TO MAKE THE CRAQUELIN AHEAD OF TIME:
Combine the softened butter, salt, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla in your mixer until well combined. It will form a solid ball of dough that resembles play dough consistency. If you want to color it pink, add your food coloring now. Otherwise it will be a brown color and still be just as good. ;)
Roll out your dough in between 2 sheets or parchment paper or saran wrap just to prevent sticking anywhere and easier handling. Roll out to about 1/4 in thick or slightly thinner and then place in the freezer.
TO MAKE THE CREAM PUFFS:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line sheet pans with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook on medium heat while stirring together with whisk until fully combined. Bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat.
3. Add the sifted flour to your pan quickly and whisk until thoroughly combined and mixture comes together to form a dough. There should be no lumps here but you must work kind of quickly to avoid it. Remove the whisk and switch to a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula). Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Cook and stir dough for about 1 minute to cook the flour some. You will know when its ready because the dough will start to stick to the bottom of the pan a little and it will make a hissing sound as your stir.
4. Remove from the heat and right away transfer the dough to your mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Do not use a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on low and start adding your eggs one by one, allowing each one to fully incorporate before adding the next. I usually stop after 4, crack open the 5th egg in a cup and scramble and then add about half of it to get my perfect consistency. But check yours! You might be good after the 4 eggs or you may need the whole extra 5th. You will know when the dough is the right consistency when you lift the paddle attachment and the dough forms a pretty "V" shape (see images in this post). It can't be too loose or too thick.
5. When ready, you'll transfer your dough to a piping bag. You can use a tip if you want in your bag but I don't. I just snip the tip of my bag until I have about 1/4 inch circle opening at the bottom.
6. Pipe out your puffs on your lined baking sheets about 1.5 inch circles. There will be a little peak at the top where you lift your bag from.
7. Now remove your sheet of frozen craquelin from your freezer. Use a small circle cookie cutter (or anything else that works) to cut out disks. Place the disks on top of each piped cream puff (as shown above in post). They will just sit on top like a little hat.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until your puffs have risen nice and tall. Now, lower your oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. Keep checking on them and they should be a golden brown color when done. The craquelin top will have spread out and formed cracks throughout.
9. As your pastries are baking, make your cheesecake filling. Mix your softened cream cheese and vanilla on medium until creamed. Start to add your powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. After you get to 2 cups I recommend start tasting it until you get desired sweetness. Add sugar until you have something you like. It's nice to know that the cream puffs themselves are not sweet at all and the craquelin top adds a little bit of sweetness but not very much. Slice up your strawberries and set aside.
10. After your puffs are baked and cooled, use a bread knife to slice the top off. Fill with your cheesecake filling and some strawberries and then place the top back on. They're now ready to eat, devour, hoard, have a binge day...whatever you want to call it. ;)
STORAGE: Store them in the fridge until ready to eat. They will stay fresh up to a week.
Serving size: 1 Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Total Fat 8.1g10%
Saturated Fat 4.8g 24%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 84mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 18.7g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g 1%
Total Sugars 11.9g
Vitamin D 8mcg 42%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 49mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.