A tower of creme de menthe-flavored puffs makes an eye-catching centerpiece for your dessert table. Guests will have this luscious Christmas tree undecorated quickly!—Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 2/3 cup butter, cubed
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup green creme de menthe
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
- Additional confectioners' sugar, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add 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.
- Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Cut a small slit in the side of each puff to allow steam to escape. Cool puffs.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold in creme de menthe. Pipe about 1 tablespoon into each puff. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine butter and chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to make desired consistency for dipping.
- 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. Dip the bottoms of the 21 flattest puffs into glaze. Place on a 10-in. round serving platter, forming a solid circle.
- For the second layer, dip glaze on the bottoms of 15 puffs, then position on base layer. Continue building tree, using about 11 puffs in third layer, about six puffs in fourth layer, about four puffs in fifth layer and one puff on top.
- Drizzle remaining glaze over tree, thinning with hot water if necessary.
- Loosely cover tree with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 60 servings.
Originally published as Creme de Menthe Cream Puff Tree in Country Woman December/January 2012, p41
Sweet White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.
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