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 grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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! 😮

    Reply
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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

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