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Following is a delicious version of the buns used on "Bun Day Monday" in Iceland. This was brought back by Brinna Sands on a recent trip to Iceland. Brinna writes:
"This translates literally to "water/dough/buns." We know them as cream puffs. The French name is pate a choux. They're fun, quick, and like no other baked good, except perhaps popovers or Yorkshire pudding. My source for this was a young woman named "Jo" who has written almost a whole cookbook of Icelandic recipes on the Internet. Though I've used her ratios, I've taken a few liberties and changed the amounts to correspond more easily to American volume (and weight) measurements. The recipe called for margarine, saying the puffs come out better. But I used butter and they came out just fine."
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup (4 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 large eggs
1 pint (16 ounces) heavy cream
strawberry or other jam
other fillings of your choice
Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add the butter and salt, and stir until melted. Add the flour to the water/butter mixture and stir well until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let this mixture cool for about 5 minutes, so the eggs won't cook as you add them. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until the egg is thoroughly combined with the dough and the mixture is smooth rather than slippery looking.
Using a cookie scoop or two spoons (a teaspoon or tablespoon depending on how large you want your puffs), plop a good spoonful of dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. You can get about 12 large spoonfuls to a sheet. This recipe will make about a dozen and a half if you're using tablespoons, each enough for one good-sized serving.
Bake the puffs for 25 to 30 minutes. Don't open the oven during the first 15 to 20 minutes, or the puffs may collapse. While the puffs bake, whip the cream until it's as stiff as you like, and add a token amount of confectioners' sugar and a touch of vanilla. Icelanders don't like their whipped cream very sweet.
After the puffs are baked, remove them from the oven and turn the oven off. Make a slit in the bottom of each puff with a knife, and turn them upside down on the baking sheet. Return them to the oven with the door cracked open and leave them for about 5 minutes. This allows the steam to escape so they won't get soggy as they cool.
To fill, cut the puffs in half horizontally. Frankie's favorite filling combination, and the traditional one, is a good layer of strawberry jam on the bottom, a large spoonful of whipped cream on top, then the top of the puff, and finally a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar on top of that. Some people like to add miniature chocolate chips to the whipped cream, and drizzle chocolate sauce over the sprinkle of confectioners' sugar. As finger food, these are also a messy business, but that's part of the fun of Bun Day Monday.
Nutrition information per serving (1 bun with 2 teaspoons jam and 1 tablespoon whipped cream, 1/18 of recipe, 55g): 131 cal, 7g fat, 2g protein, 7g complex carbohydrates, 7g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 78mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 40mg potassium, 74RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 23mg calcium, 31mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 2, Winter 2001 issue.