One of the hardest things about going gluten free is giving up well-loved recipes from childhood, foods that are linked to great memories and family traditions.
Every year, my mom would whip up a batch of puff dough at Easter to make platters of mouth-watering tender and gooey Cream Puffs and Éclairs.
For years, I was afraid to try this recipe gluten free, assuming it would never work.
But with a few simple tweaks, I was thrilled to discover that these were every bit as delicious as what I remembered.
Puffs are easy to master, and versatile - just change the filling!
They're elegant and irresistible for Easter brunch, or a birthday party.
Kids love them, adults covet them, dogs swallow them whole without chewing, and everyone is shocked to learn they're gluten free.
1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 cup gluten free flour
½ tsp vanilla, or to taste
¼ tsp salt
2 cups whipped cream, lightly sweetened to taste with powdered sugar (start with half cup) and vanilla
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.
In medium non-stick saucepan, combine water and butter and bring to rolling boil.
Add flour , stirring constantly over low-medium heat until mixture forms a ball, ~2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add eggs one at a time , beating vigorously to incorporate before adding the next. Dough will be sticky.
Spoon 1-2 tablespoon rounds onto baking sheet . Makes 12 large puffs or 16 small puffs.
Bake 15 minutes at 400°F . Then reduce heat to 350°F and bake additional 20-25 minutes.
When puffs are dark gold in color and firm to touch, remove from oven. Cool on metal rack.
After cooling, cut a lid at the top of each puff and gently scoop out wetter dough to form a pocket in the middle.
Fill pocket with whipped cream , . Replace cap, and dust with powdered sugar.
Gluten Free Pro Tips
Replace wheat flour with your favorite GF blend. Dough should be wet. If dry, add a small amount of milk or water.
Fully incorporate each egg - 1 at a time! - into your butter/flour mix. Vigorously beating each egg into the dough with a wooden spoon gives your puffs a light, airy, tender interior.
Dough may also be piped for a smoother appearance.
Resist the urge to open oven while baking. This releases heat, which may cause your puffs to collapse. Best indicator of "doneness" is a dark golden color.
For Éclairs, fill puffs with vanilla pudding and drizzle with chocolate glaze.
Most boxed puddings are gluten-free. But a 15-minute luscious homemade vanilla pudding is easy and so delicious!