Pink puffery? Read on…

Pink. Pink. PINK! Pink ribbons. Pink jewelry. Pink pens and T-shirts and bath sponges. A pink KitchenAid mixer; pink M&Ms. Pink ribbon-shaped bagels at Panera. Pink Ribbon Barbie! Heck, even Everlast has joined the party with pink boxing gloves (I’m SO there…)

October brings not only falling leaves (and this year, a falling stock market), but a blizzard of pink-themed merchandise. It’s hard not to get cynical about this cascade of pink advertising, this rose-tinted marketing hype. Enough, already; we know, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make a donation; save a life. Blah blah blah…

But hold on. Marketing hype it may be, but it goes beyond simply adding dollars to the bottom line. Most pink marketing is based on a solid foundation of fund-raising. And for that, I’m thankful.

Because I’m a breast cancer survivor. That’s right; I’m one of 2 million+ American women living with this disease and its after-effects. And trust me, I can be as cynical as the next gal, but I appreciate every cent that goes into the coffers of the many, many breast cancer foundations and charities and research hospitals that benefit by October’s Pink Product Parade.

Because curing cancer costs money. Lots of it. And though researchers are getting tantalizingly close, we’re not there yet. Every 3 minutes, an American woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Every 13 minutes, a woman dies from it. Imagine how many children this year will lose their mothers; how many mothers their daughters, and women, their best friends. THAT’S what’s behind Pink October; putting an end to the suffering.

King Arthur Flour is right in there pitching pink with everyone else. I’ve made sure we’re donating to a charity—the National Breast Cancer Foundation—that gets the highest rating from Charity Navigators, a consumer watchdog group.

But I’m not asking you to buy anything from us. I’m just asking you not to be jaded. Because women’s lives are saved every year, thanks to cancer fund-raising. And I’m proof… living proof.

OK, back to baking. PINK baking (groan…) Hey, these Pink Puffs are not only tasty—they’re just 40 calories each (if you forgo the pink sugar on top). How’s THAT for putting you in the pink?

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Let’s make the filling first. For the low-calorie version of these puffs, I’m partial to sugar-free vanilla pudding mix made with skim milk, and enhanced with vanilla. Whisk or blend together the pudding mix, milk, and vanilla, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

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If you’re not averse to a bit of sugar in these puffs, combine 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring in a blender or mini food processor. Process to make pink sugar; it won’t be perfectly powdery due to the liquid food color, but you’ll be able to press it through a sieve onto the finished puffs.

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Next, butter, water, and salt go into a saucepan. Heat till the butter melts…

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…and the mixture comes to a boil.

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Add the flour all at once, and stir, over low heat, until the mixture comes together and follows the spoon or spatula around the pan. This will only take 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat, and  transfer to a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes or so.

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Next, take your room-temperature eggs… What—you forgot to take the eggs out of the fridge?!  No worries. Just stick them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes or so (while the dough is cooling).

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Add the eggs to the butter-flour mixture one at a time. When you first add an egg, it’ll look slimy, like this.

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But as you beat, it’ll become smooth.

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Use a heaped teaspoon cookie scoop (or the tool of your choice, though the cookie scoop works like gangbusters), and scoop ping-pong-ball-sized rounds onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. You’ll need two baking sheets. Stagger the dough balls so you can leave about 2″ between them; they’re going to expand as they bake.

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Here they are, ready to go into the oven.

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And here they are, puffed and light golden brown. Remove them from the oven…

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…and use a knife tip to make a small slit in each puff along its fault line. Return to the oven, and bake for 5 more minutes. This helps dry the inside of the puffs, allowing them to remain crisp longer.

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Cut each puff just enough to make a clamshell-type top and bottom.

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Dollop in the filling…

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…and close up.

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Sieve the pink sugar over the puffs.

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Serve at a Pink Party!  Notice the sugar turns bright pink where it hits the filling. If you don’t like that look, be sure to sieve sugar only where it won’t touch any oozing filling.

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Pink Puffs.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Simply Enjoy Vanilla Cream Puffs, in the supermarket freezer section, 45¢/ounce

Bake at home: Pink Puffs, 9¢/ounce

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. laura k

    Wow, you make cream puffs look so easy! In fact, so easy that I feel convinced that I can give them a shot myself. Thanks!

    These are actually kind of a clone of cream puffs and éclairs – the cream puff shape, the cream puff topping, the éclair filling. Bakers are always fooling around and changing recipes, huh? :) – PJH

    Reply
  2. Jackie

    These look luscious in pink! I’m thinking they might even look cute in orange for a Halloween party I’m planning….

    And I agree with the first comment– this post makes cream puffs much easier than I thought they would be!

    Reply
  3. Jen W

    I have made a similiar version (different recipe) of the cream puff/puffed pastries that you’re featuring. I never even though to throw it in my mixer to combine the eggs! I stirred and stirred and STIRRED by hand. I thought my arm was going to fall off! Good tip!

    I will be stopping by to do some shopping this weekend. My husband and I are headed up to New Hampshire for the weekend and he promised me a stop at King Arthur so that we can get some fresh baked bread (YUM!) and I could stock up on some supplies. Can’t wait!

    Enjoy your trip – foliage is pretty good up north of here, JUST starting here. Scattered beautiful trees, but not yet the Oriental carpet effect when you look at the hills… PJH

    Reply
  4. luv2cook

    I have always been scared to make these but I think with the help from your blog I know what I am doing this afternoon!I think you need pink filling :)

    I tried to make pink filling – the yellow (vanilla) pudding turned it orange!!! PJH

    Reply
  5. Mike T.

    Looks good, and a great idea for an easy filling!

    I was at a Jon McLaughlin concert last night for Pinktober at Hard Rock Cafe. We raised $3165 last night! It was about 100 or so people.

    Thanks so much, Mike… PJH

    Reply
  6. Laura

    Unrelated to this specific recipe, but noted on all your blog recipes, the price to make at home is terrific to have. Can anyone at KA share a formula to calculate the price of a given item? The math skills required make this off-putting to me.

    I love the blog and look forward to each recipe and description of the process.Laura, Now we have software for this. You’re right is is very cumbersome. Back in the day; This is how we did it. Calculate the cost of all of the ingredients divided by the number of servings. Frank from KAF

    Reply
  7. Barb

    PJ – You ROCK!! Congratulations on being a breast cancer survivor!!!

    I just finished walking in The 3-Day, 60 Mile Breast Cancer Walk here in Michigan. There were just over 3100 walkers and Michigan alone raised a record $7.2 million!!! The Walk itself is an amazing event and you have never, ever seen so much PINK in your whole life. It is truly the most beautiful color. If you aren’t familiar with The 3-Day event, visit the website http://www.The3-Day.org. They are 14 Walks around the country this year and Denver joins the group next year to bring it to 15 Walks.

    I’m just one person – no affliation to the The 3-Day except for walking in it and raising the money, but I do it, believe in it and I’ll walk until I don’t have to because as The 3-Day believes “Everyone Deserves a Lifetime.”

    So let’s give a cheer for Pink – and breast cancer awareness!

    Thanks

    WOW, Barb – I looked at the 3-day a few years ago, but I decided I couldn’t make it. I do a 12-mile fund-raising walk, and it just about kills my feet every year. Can’t imagine 5X that long… thankyouthankyouthankyou for doing that! We ALL appreciate it – PJH

    Reply
  8. carol duff

    WHERE IS THE RECIPE? OR DOES THE DRY “STUFF” COME IN A BOX?
    HELP ! ! ! ! ! ! MY DAUGHTER BAKES ALL THE TIME AND WOULD LOVE
    THIS (so would I)

    Carol, click on the Pink Puffs link at the very end of the photos, or right before the step photos start. it’ll take you to our recipe online. Have fun! – PJH

    Reply
  9. Joyce

    Congratulations PJ on being a survivor. I am a survivor of 18 years. I walk every year here in Rhode Island for Breast Cancer and raise money for this worthy cause.

    The Pink Puffs look delicious and I intend to make them for a party I will be attending next weekend. I have made cream puffs many times, I just never thought to tint the sugar. Thanks for putting a new twist on an old favorite.

    Joyce

    Enjoy, Joyce – the puffs… and life! PJH

    Reply
  10. Cindy

    Pink filling? How about chocolate mint – the white chocolate pudding mix with colorless mint extract and pink coloring? Or strawberry cheesecake – cheesecake pudding mix with strawberry juice?

    Both sound yummy – just has to be a white-colored pudding to turn PINK! – PJH

    Reply
  11. alienor

    i am disappointed that you used the sugar free pudding mix. if you check the label it is filled with many chemicals including the artifical sugar. a lot of cancer survivors are trying to stay away from these “chemical factories” i wish you could redo this recipe using homemade ingredients.
    thanks for the sweet thoughts, tho For scratch bakers we have a recipe on our web site for pastry cream, check out ” A Mere Trifle”. Joan @the baker’s hot line

    Thanks for your thoughts; your point is well taken. We do give the option for regular pudding (not sugar-free), as well. Plus, you can always fill with plain whipped cream. Personally, I feel as survivors, we pick our battles; I know that being overweight is a prime breast cancer risk, so I choose what I consider the smaller risk of artificial sweeteners. Thanks for connecting – PJH

    Reply
  12. Kim

    This looks like fun. Can I use a Silpat or do I need to use parchment? Also, your beater in the puff making photo looked like it was made of something different than the standard beater. Is it something unusual? Did you use an immersion blender to make the pudding filling? Thanks! I just love KAF and this blog. Yes, you may use your Silpat. It will work nicely. And yes, the beater you are referring to is an immersion blender. Joan @ bakers’s hot line

    Yes, I used an immersion blender for the pudding. But the beater you see is a new product we’ll be carrying soon – it’s a beater paddle for stand mixers that’s actually acrylic and silicone. It scrapes the sides of the bowl as it beats. Works pretty nicely! – PJH

    Reply
  13. Heather

    Could I make these, fill them, and then freeze them?

    No, Heather, that wouldn’t be a good idea; I believe the filling would separate as it thawed. Best to freeze just the shells (baked or unbaked), and fill just before serving. The instant pudding makes it easy – but you could always make a ‘true” cream puff and simply fill them with whipped cream, too, which is also fast to prepare. – PJH

    Reply
  14. Suzanne

    I just wanted to say “Thank you” for all of the great recipes. I’m battling ovarian cancer (can we make something teal?) & my appetite isn’t always what it should be. But I look at the great things that you come up with & as a diehard baker I print out the recipe & the next thing you know, I’m eating something delicious! Good Luck to all the survivors out there!

    Teal, teal… I’m racking my brains here, Suzanne. Not coming up with anything naturally teal-colored. Unless we could figure out some kind of interaction of blueberries with cheesecake or cream filling, where the blue of the berry and the golden/cream of the filling makes… teal? :) Best of luck with treatment – I’m with you in spirit, Suzanne. One day at a time. And I know you’re appreciating each and every one… PJH

    Reply
  15. Kathy

    I enjoy your emails. I made something similar years ago. I would like to make the pudding from scratch using corn starch, do you think it will still work. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

    Absolutely, Kathy – homemade pudding is wonderful! I made “from scratch” chocolate pudding a couple of months ago and it was soooo tasty. PJH

    Reply
  16. Eve Erwin

    To anyone who uses vanilla extract… throw it out and replace it with KA Vanilla Bean Crush, order #2336. I am having an absolutely fabulous experience with it. Won’t ever go back to the store version again. And be sure to shake the bottle to get all the ‘goodies’ which settle on the bottom!
    Thank you KAF!
    ~eve in idaho

    Eve, I agree – that vanilla bean crush is the most aromatic, most “vanilla-y” vanilla I’ve ever experienced. I put some in my coffee every morning and just INHALE… – PJH

    Reply
  17. Penny

    These look so good! I used to make creme puffs all the time when I was a kid and (so much so that one of my aunts would have me make them for her because she *said* she just couldn’t do it like I could.) Just recently I was talking to my mom about making them! Thanks for the reminder to do it!

    Reply
  18. Natty

    I am a puff addict! I love them sweet and I love them savory. Cheese puffs are some of the most delicious things to have ever come out of my oven.

    I am curious what baking techniques you’ve goofed around with? I’m done the 20 minutes at 400 degrees and have found they’re not dry enough for my taste (and I am too lazy to cut “steam holes”) so I put them in for 20 minutes at 400, then turn it down to 350 and put a spoon in the oven door to vent for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and close the oven door for about 30 minutes.

    Natty, I’m cheap – don’t like to have the oven on any longer than I need to, thus the steam vents. This works well for me. PJH

    Reply
  19. Teresa Fung

    I also love cream puffs and the savory kind (gorgeres). It so cool for so many to ‘discover’ how easy these are, especially when you can beat in the eggs with a mixer!!!

    A fun and casual way to serve these is to serve them unfilled and offer a can of whipped cream for everyone to fill their own. You can always sprinkle whatever color sugar you want on them.

    Mmmm, I think its time to make some cream puffs.

    What a great party you must throw! When is the next one??? :) My daughter had a chocolate fountain for her 13th B-day party and insisted on cream puffs for dipping. Totally decadent!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  20. jana

    i made these the other day when i was craving something light and sweet. but i did’nt have any trouble with coloring the powdered sugar pink. what i did was, take sugar replacement and put it in my prosseser to make it powdered and used some dry powdered coloring i had on my shelf and it turned out great. am diabetic so have to be careful of the sugar and carbs.

    Reply
  21. Cindy

    I, too, am a breast cancer survivor of 8 years (though I prefer the term “victor”), and appreciate all the donations by King Arthur and so many other fine companies. Thank you!

    A few questions about the mixer blade in your photos. Is this one of the new bowl-scraper models that fit KitchenAid mixers? If so, which one is it, which mixer does it fit, how do you like it, do you stock it, and if so, what is the item number?

    Profiteroles, cream puffs and gougeres are my favs–thanks for the great descriptions and step by step photos in this pate-a-choux tutorial.

    I actually prefer the term “conqueror” – survivor sounds like you clung to a life raft and washed up on shore. As we know, there’s a bit more to BC treatment than that… :) Yes, it’s one of those new silicone/acrylic mixer blades. I like it – feels friendlier than that kind of icky unfinished aluminum most blades are made of. And it does scrape the sides of the bowl – not clean, but pretty well. It fits my old KitchenAid Professional. We’ll be carrying a range of these for different mixers shortly; probably within the month. No item numbers yet. Stay tuned… PJH

    Reply
  22. Margy

    I came across the silicone/acrylic mixer blade for KitchenAid in a local gourmet store and picked it up. Used it to make a green tomato spice cake and it worked great; no build-up of unmixed flour at the bottom of the bowl, and the sides scraped pretty clean. Admittedly, have only used it once, but I was pretty impressed. Just don’t turn it on in a dry bowl–it screeches like a banshee! :o

    Reply
  23. Mohana

    Hi!

    I couldn’t help myself to make this recipe last Thursday. I didn’t have the ingredients for the filling right on hand so I used cream cheese. They turned out really yummy, but somehow they didn’t look as pretty as yours, like they stayed the same shape and height. But you know… powder sugar covers multitude of sins!

    Hmmm… Not sure what happened. Oven not hot enough? Batter not beaten enough? Didn’t use large eggs? But you’re right about the multitude of sins… PJH

    Reply
  24. erik

    OMG I LOVE CREAM PUFFS!!!!!!
    if you ad a pinch of salt before finish the panade, they could rise more, and it’s not a very good Idea to frees the sheels…
    but rgabks for the idea of filling it with pudding, save so much time, I always fill them with home made pastry cream, but takes me hours becsue it has to folded with wipped cream(home made) and put in the fridge for hours.
    THANKS
    =)

    Reply
  25. Judith A. Dahn

    I just discovered this Blog. I too am a breast cancer victor. It was March 19,1976,my daughter was 10 years old and my son had just turned 6years old. in re. the puffs I love them filled with homemade Lemon Curd. In fact Lemon Curd on/in anything is great-especially a large spoon!!! I have been known to eat it out of its jar. (guilty look)

    Hope you’re doing well now, Judith- LOVE the lemon curd puff idea! PJH

    Reply
  26. Sandra R

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Welcome to King Arthur Flour! We know you’ll be inspired and educated by the blog and other info on our website…check the education section, especially the on-line classes and baking tips and primers. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply

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