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Cream Puff Christmas Tree

 Cream Puff Christmas Tree
I've been cooking up a Cream Puff Christmas Tree regularly for almost 50 years now, and it always receives the same enthusiastic reaction from friends and family.
30 ServingsPrep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 30 min.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • Filling:
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rum extract, optional
  • Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup half-and-half cream
  • Green liquid or paste food coloring, optional
  • Red candied cherries, optional
  • Additional confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil over medium
  • heat. Add flour and salt; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove
  • from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time,
  • beating well after each addition. continue beating until mixture is
  • smooth and shiny.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2-in. apart onto greased baking sheets.
  • (You will need about 62 puffs to make the tree.) Use a moistened
  • finger to smooth any peaks.

2 of 2

Cream Puff Christmas Tree (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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
  • form.
  • 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.
Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.