- Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer
- to wire racks to cool.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form.
- Gradually beat in sugar and rum extract if desired until stiff peaks
- Insert round tip #7 into a pastry or resealable plastic bag; fill
- with the whipped cream. With a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the
- side of each puff. Insert pastry tip into slits; fill each puff with
- whipped cream. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- For icing, combine confectioners' sugar and enough cream to achieve
- desired consistency. Stir in food coloring if desired.
- To assemble tree: Separate puffs according to size and shape,
- choosing the flattest ones for the bottom layer and the smallest
- ones for the top. Spread the bottom of 18 puffs with icing. Place on
- the serving platter, forming a 9-in.-diameter solid circle.
- For the second layer, spread icing on the bottoms of 18 puffs, then
- position above the space of the base layer of puffs.
- Continue building tree in this manner using about 14 puffs in third
- layer, about seven puffs in fourth layer, about four puffs in fifth
- layer and one puff on top.
- To decorate: Insert round tip #7 into a pastry or resealable plastic
- bag and fill with remaining icing. Drizzle over tree. Trim with
- cherries if desired.
- The completed tree may be loosely covered with plastic wrap and
- refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Just before serving, dust with
- confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 30 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 190 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 74 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.
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