“i’m trying to formulate how good this is….oh my gosh”
phrew….at last….after books and blogs…and suggestions….AND a baking class at central market….it’s here…the cream horn! or as our new taste-tester “t-rex” would say…the dowel rod cream cookie!
b and i put our heads together and decided to conquer this puff pastry dough together. she’s the one who lucked into the central market baking class…where they just so happened to be teaching techniques on bread, butter…and puff pastry!
let me just preface the post by saying….this process isn’t lazy….but if you want quick results…and don’t have days to commit…you can find a box of “puff pastry sheets” at your local grocery store…in the freezer section. and then all you have to worry about is the filling. b and i don’t roll that way though….it’s the real deal here.
5 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
2 cups butter
if you really wanna be fancy…like b and i did, take a whirl at making your own butter! we were very proud to say that in making these cream horns, we did everything short of milkin the cow!
whisk together your flour and salt. add in water. stir until dough has formed. dough will be a tiny bit on the lumpy side. set aside and let her rest for about 20 minutes. roll out into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. cut up butter into (chilled) squares and put them ALL over the top of the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch butter-free around the edges of the rectangle. (the butter needs to be chilled….but it’s a fine line…too warm and your dough will absorb it…too cold and it will break through your dough. my handy-dandy pie and pastry bible noted that 60 degrees F is the perfect temperature for your butter…if you want to be that technical….i just guessed it, myself) after the top of your dough is covered in butter squares…fold it in thirds (like you would a business letter) and roll out again to about 1/2″ thickness. be careful to not let the butter break through the dough or out the sides. (first fold) turn the dough 90 degrees and roll out again into a rectangle and fold again into thirds. (second fold) it’s important to keep your dough chilled, so between every two folds refrigerate for 30 minutes, covered.
you will repeat this process of rolling out and folding two more times…refrigerating between every two folds until you have folded the dough 6 times. once finished, wrap and refrigerate.
the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days…or frozen up to a year?! what?!
to make the cream horns:
roll your puff pastry dough out to 1/4″ thick. try your best to keep it in a square or rectangle shape.
cut into 1/2 inch strips length wise.
wrap strips around cream horn mold overlapping the dough as you wrap.
(now…t-rex has named these the dowel rod cream cookies…because i got the clever tip to skip the costs of cream horn molds…and simply cut wooden dowel rods to fit a baking pan. generously grease the rods before you wrap them with dough. you can make the horns as long or as short as you like….and fit as many on at a time as you can. once you have finished baking…and while they are still warm, they slide right off the dowel…voilà! the dowels will discolor slightly….but they don’t burst into flames!)
once you have wrapped the dough around mold or dowel, brush on an egg wash of your choosing…and send them to the oven!
they bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
once tops are golden brown…or to your liking…remove from oven….then remove (while still warm) from dowel rod/mold (be gentle…these buddies are fragile) and transfer to cooling rack.
once cooled…fill with cream and top with powdered sugar….and stick them back in the freezer or fridge. they are best served chilled!
for the cream filling….sheesh…i’ve been testing fillings for weeks. there’s a crisco/sugar filling….a pudding filling….there’s gelatin, to stabilize your whipped cream (this i do not recommend….gelatin smells like burning…and the filling we made with gelatin had a distinct aftertaste of burning….not pleasant) in the end i simply whipped up some heavy whipping cream with vanilla and powdered sugar to taste….light and fluffy…not too sweet.
were they worth all the wait and all the fuss? yes…..i think i can speak for both of us by saying, mastering the puff pastry made b and i feel quite accomplished…..paired with our butter making skills and our whipped cream tests and successes, we spent an entire evening dancing around b’s kitchen singing “i’m proud of us, i’m proud of us…..i hope that you’re as proud as we are!” (which is a little song my mama grew my sisters and me up on). the down fall is…..cookies no longer seem like a challenge…..i fear the bar has been lifted…..which is exciting and challenging…..BUT…..give us grace if we feel the need to tackle a cookie or brownie here or there. :)