Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Today I made a BIG mistake. I thought that our family dinner was going to be on Christmas Day, tomorrow so I had planned to bring a dessert to our SIL: Sister-in-law's. This meant that I was going to work on it tonight . . .

well, as it happened, dinner was tonight so I had to fastforward my plans by 24 hours. It's a good thing that we suspended gift giving years ago so I didn't have to navigate the busy malls and like a horse with blinders I only had one task on my mind so I headed to the local grocery store to purchase some supplies, after breakfast with the guys


baking was my hobby during a previous life and I still have a counter crammed with the applicances necessary to do the job. While I haven't done much baking lately I was still able to multitask a bit. Here I am getting my workstation ready

(following in the toe-steps of the Barefoot Contessa)

while the flour was presifted, I sifted 1 cup anyway


I had one cup of milk on my new gas stove waiting for 1/3rd cup of butter to be boiled


after the liquid mixture came to a boil, I turned off the heat and added the 1 cup of sifted flour, in one fast lump


I had 4 eggs at room temperature on standby. I usually bring the eggs out of the fridge and put them in warm tap water to speed things along. It normally takes about 10 minutes. The liquid mixture to which the flour was added was taken off the heat and the residual heat is what is needed to temper the eggs in the next procedure


The room temperature eggs are added, one at a time until the flour mixture appears to loose its shine (looks more dry), then eggs are added until you have used 4 or so. Vigorous mixing with a wood spatula gives your arm a good workout

After the "dough" appears to look dry and can hold a stiff point, I use two spoons to make little balls to put onto a baking sheet. The dough is very sticky. You will find with experience that using your fingers creates more problems


I have my new Gas oven pre-warmed to 400°F and put my baking sheet into the oven. After 10 minutes I reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 25 minutes. Make sure you do not take your shells out of the oven too fast as the cool air may make them collapse. Here is what they look like out of the oven


In the meantime, while my shells are cooling I put ice into my Kitchen aid mixer bowl as well as the whipping attachment, and put into the fridge to cool. The freezer would have been better but it is full of junk food. It is much better to have eveything cold before you attempt to make your whipping cream

While my shells are still cooling down, and my stainless steel mixer bowl is cooling down I get my chocolate topping ready. I use a double boiler setup with water in the bowl below to heat the semi-sweet cubes of Baker's chocolate.


you have to keep an eye on the heat as you only want to melt the chocolate, add icing sugar to desired sweetness, and whipping cream to proper consistency. I don't like it too runny and remember that it hardens a bit as it cools down to room temperature


By now I have already mixed my whipping cream adding icing sugar to taste, sliced open my shells to be filled with whipped cream, and drizzled the tops with chocolate icing. And you can see my creation (below) . . . Cream Puffs


When I was younger I used to watch my Grandmother bake and I always got to lick the leftovers. Today I got the whipping cream all to myself


As I have mentioned before, Christmas to us is not so much the material things but the getting together with friends & family. We do appreciate what we have and the things we receive from others and we are thankful for the friendships and bondings over the years and especially from our Blogging community


As I am writing this I just remembered in my haste the BIG mistake I mentioned above. I forgot to add vanilla into my chocolate icing. I hope no one notices after dinner tonight. ( I suppose I could always lick off the icing and add a new batch, I mean, who would notice ? )

Merry Christmas to all of you where ever you are and may prosperity continue during 2012.

Here's a Christmas performance I recorded a couple of weeks ago at a luncheon at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. A choir from a local elementary school, to get you in the Holiday spirit, using my 1920 8mm vintage camcorder, in full HD


  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours Mr. Bobskoot.

    I now have to reread and pull the recipe out bit by bit. I've never thought of making cream puffs before, but looks like a challenge I would enjoy.


  2. Merry Christmas my dear friend and please give my best regards to Mrs Skoot! Looking forward to getting together in 2012! The cream puffs look very yummy!

  3. Merry Christmas, bobskoot. May your celebrations be wonderful and may no one say, "These puffs are great, but a little vanilla in the frosting would have made them perfect." I'm sure no one will notice.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Skoot. The cream puffs look tasty. I have never been much of a baker as baking seems a bit fussy compared to cooking.


  5. Great write up Bob, I don't know how you can stand barefoot in the house as we are always freezing even in our slippers. The creampuffs look delicious, I can only imagine the mess and the laughs created when eaten in the presence family and friends.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and Yvonne.

  6. Bob

    Seasons greetings!

    Don't forget to get on 2 wheels again, my waist line is ever expanding with all this kitchen avtion!

    N and Mrs N

  7. You are welcome at my home any time, all the best. Roger

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family Bob, the dessert sure looks delicious!

  9. Merry Christmas! Good looking cookies..... :)

  10. Bob, you're killing me with these food posts. I can barely make popcorn.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Normally I would be jealous of the tasty treats you were making but sitting here now slightly nauseous from too much food over the past couple days. So I'm immune.

    But obviously you had a fine holiday.

    Merry Christmas to you and the family.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  12. Mmmmm cream puffs. I've only ever made them once but remember enjoying the process.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Skoot and a healthy and happy new year.

  13. 682202/GAW:

    Merry Christmas to you too. The whole recipe is there but if you need ingredient list let me know. If I can do it, then anyone can do it. There is a story behind the Cream Puffs, perhaps I may tell it


    You are so lucky that Santa Baby left you a new motorcycle. We will get together for sure, at least on the May long weekend at the scooter rally


    No one noticed and they were the first to go, even before the store bought stuff. Merry Christmas to you and Heather


    Baking is more technically challenging as weights and measures have to be more exact, and things done in certain order. I am working on some different recipes, we'll see how they work out

  14. Troubadour:

    Merry Christmas to the both of you too. I only bake barefoot, we have a basement so the main floor is more insulated from the cold, cement floor below. The first thing I do when I get home is to ditch the shoes. I was going to make two batches but ran out of time. It is best to leave the shells overnight to harden, before stuffing the whipped cream inside.


    Merry Christmas to you and Martha too. Can't wait until we get warmer weather


    two wheeled adventures to start next month, for reasons which will become obvious, soon. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs N in stormy UK


    thank you very much. Glad you were unscathed during the last tremor. Merry Christmas, would be nice to enjoy Christmas in the upside down land of summer heat, one day . . .

  15. Benny:

    sorry I missed you for lunch. I was running out of time and had to get dessert finished, then post up a blog entry. Perhaps next Saturday if you are going to be there. Merry Christmas to Shirley & Annabelle


    Merry Christmas to Kaybi too. with luck we will be meeting up with you this coming summer IMBC2012


    I'll be looking forward to meals of popcorn when i get down to your area. Get the microwave ready

    Merry Christmas to you too

  16. Steve:

    we also had a wee bit too much Turkey too, also too many desserts. Luckily today we just had leftovers, sort of.

    Merry Christmas to your family too


    A Merry Christmas to you and Troubadour. I hadn't made cream puffs for a few years but it was more relaxing to stay home and be with my new oven, than shopping in a mall somewhere.

  17. Bob,

    It's nice to see that some things never change. I still lick the beaters myself, and my wife knows not to try to stop me. (I think that came out a little... wrong) Anyway, those look pretty damned good. I was wondering where it was going in the beginning. Also, how long will it be your "new" gas stove?

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life