French Chocolate Éclairs

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If you know of a gooey, chocolaty baked confection more fabulous than a French Chocolate Éclair, do let me know because I can’t think of one! They’re so decadent, they must be difficult to make, right? Au contraire! If you can stir a few ingredients together and squeeze a plastic bag (more on that later), you can make this heavenly dessert.

Fun variation: Instead of the French vanilla cream filling used below, consider filling these decadent treats with English Lemon Curd. Either option is delicious! Let’s get started!

Ingredients (Makes 30 mini Éclairs)

For the éclair shells:

1/2 cup real butter

1 cup water

1 cup flour

dash salt

dash cinnamon

4 eggs

For the filling:

1 small box instant French vanilla pudding mix

2 cups whole milk

For the glaze:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Step 1) Bring butter, water, salt, and cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Step 2) Stir flour into the boiling mixture. Stir briskly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 3) Add eggs, one at a time, to the dough. Stir well after each egg is added.WIN_20160226_124952

Step 4) Transfer dough to a clean, gallon size zip-lock bag with a 1/2 inch corner snipped off. Use this homemade pastry bag to squeeze 2 inch strips of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I use a back-and-forth motion, squeezing a two inch strip of dough, then pulling backward to add a second layer of dough on top of the first (see photo of shells below).

Leave 1 – 2 inches of space between strips of dough, as the dough will expand while baking. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Tops and bottoms will be light golden brown when fully baked.

Step 5) Transfer shells to a wire rack for cooling (see above). When shells are cool, cut in half and pull out any underbaked dough remaining inside. This hollows out the shells a bit, allowing room for filling!WIN_20160226_141503

Step 6) Fill shells with either French vanilla pudding (prepared according to package instructions, using 2 cups of whole milk) or English lemon curd.

Step 7) Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir every 30 seconds until chips are melted. Use the back of a teaspoon to spread a bit of melted chocolate over the top of each shell.

Ooh La La!

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