Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I had great plans for Valentine’s Day this year. I was going to make all kinds of cute crafts. I was going to try a dozen cute holiday treats. My house was going to be all decked out in ruffles, hearts, and all things girly pink and red. But then reality happened and I didn’t quite have time. We have two birthdays at our house in February, so I’ve been busy making birthday invitations, shopping for gifts, and making birthday cakes. And of course having birthday parties.
So even though I didn’t have the most festive Valentine’s Day ever, I feel like this month has been a success. We got to spend lots of family time together. My boys are happy. And that’s what really matters! 🙂
If you are still looking for an awesome treat for your sweetie, you cannot go wrong with chocolate eclairs. Everyone loves them! What’s not to love really? Pastry filled with creamy goodness and topped with chocolate. So dang good!! I make the filling from scratch, but you can use instant pudding instead. Not quite as awesome, but still really yummy!
Bring water, butter, and salt to a boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from the heat. Using a wooden spoon or mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Using the back of a spoon, spread into oval shapes on an ungreased baking sheet. (I like to line mine with parchment.) Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown. Cool completely.
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks. Gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and starts to boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Cool completely.
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, soft
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat butter and cocoa till smooth. Add remaining ingredients, using enough milk to get the right consistency for spreading. It’s easier if it’s on the thin side.Using a pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe filling into eclairs. Frost with chocolate frosting. Refrigerate any leftovers-if you have any!!
-If you don’t like, or don’t have almond extract, you can replace it with additional vanilla.
-You can replace the homemade pudding with a box of prepared instant pudding and a cup of Cool Whip. If I use that method, I still add the almond extract to the pudding.
-If you want to make cream puffs instead, just drop the dough by spoonfuls on the cookie sheet.