Once a season, I come together with a ton of other food bloggers and photographers to showcase a seasonal ingredient. Given that it’s almost Thanksgiving, it’s only natural to focus on cranberries! I will admit, the reveal of cranberries as the seasonal highlight was a little lackluster for me. Most of my experience with cranberries comes in the form of vodka and cranberry juice cocktail. Yes, I know, not even real cranberries! I considered throwing in the towel on this one and picking up again with the next seasonal ingredient, but these collaborations have been so much fun I thought I would give the humble cranberry a try.
And guess what guys, I loved them! I might even like cranberries in desserts more than strawberries, and here’s why: the natural tartness of the cranberries is a perfect foil to the sometimes overwhelming sweetness in desserts. About a year ago, I made a pact with myself to eat less sugar. At the time the choice was focused around losing weight, but I found that as I ate less sugar, I felt better overall and my energy was more consistent throughout the day. I also became more sensitive to sugar in food, and soon found a lot of desserts to just be too sweet.
I was pleasantly surprised that these cream puffs with cranberry buttercream came out with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The cranberry buttercream is silky smooth. The cream puff dough is light and airy. The cranberry-orange glaze ties it all together with a bright pop of fruit flavor. Give this recipe a shot, and it will quickly shoot to the top of your dessert list. Plus, it’s a fun and different way to incorporate cranberries into your holiday celebrations!
If you would like to check out other cranberry recipes from the wonderful collaborators, you can check out #yesyoucranberry on Instagram. You can also check out the list of recipes at the end of this post!
Recipe from The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell
Total Time: 70 minutes
Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Inactive time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yields: about 16 cream puffs
Shelf Life: Unfilled – 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature; filled – 1 to 2 days in the fridge. If storing unfilled, recrisp in a 350 degree oven before filling
121 g whole milk
121 g water
57 g butter
4 g kosher salt
181 g bread flour
284 g eggs (about 5) , plus 1 to 2 more eggs if needed
Egg wash – 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
I Recipe of Cranberry Buttercream (if made ahead, let come to room temperature prior to filling puffs)
1 Recipe of Cranberry – Orange Glaze (found below)
Over medium-low heat, bring the butter, salt, water, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add in the flour and stir constantly until the dough forms a ball around the spoon. You will also notice starch residue on the bottom of the saucepan. About 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the dough for 1-2 minutes on low speed to cool down the dough.
With the mixer on medium speed, add in the 5 eggs on at a time. Let the egg fully incorporate into the dough prior to adding the next egg. This should take about 4-6 minutes.
At this point, my dough was on the soupy side and not the correct consistency. I increased the mixer to medium-high and continued to beat the dough until it thickened, and any lumps were smoothed.
To test the dough, dip the paddle into the dough and lift. The dough should form a V shape that breaks off near the bottom. If the dough breaks off too soon, whisk in another egg then test again. Continue to add an additional egg until you get the V.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use a Ziploc bag and cut one of the corners.
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Hold the piping bag vertically over the parchment, and pipe the dough in 2 inch circles, 1 inches apart.
If the tops of the dough have points, dip your finger into water and pat down the point. This will keep the points from burning in the oven.
Let the dough puffs rest at room temperature for 25-30 minutes. This will allow the dough to form a skin.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set the racks in the upper and lower thirds.
After resting, brush the dough puffs with egg wash.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. In my oven, they baked closer to 30 minutes and I turned the sheet pan halfway through. The dough puffs are finished when they are golden brown, are hard to the touch, and sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Using a toothpick, poke a small hole in the dough puff. This will allow some of the steam to escape, preserving the crispy texture of the puff.
Once cool, fill the puffs. I transferred my room temperature cranberry buttercream into a pastry bag with the same large tip I used to pipe the puffs. I then carefully inserted the tip of the pastry bag into the side of the cream puff (I tried to find a soft seam), and piped the buttercream until the puff felt heavy. You can also cut the puff in half and scoop in the buttercream.
Top with the cranberry-orange glaze right before serving the cream puffs.
Cranberry Orange Glaze
Total Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Yields: about ½ cup
Shelf Life: 1 week airtight in the fridge
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cranberry puree
4 ½ teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
Pinch kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl
Whisk together thoroughly until smooth and combined
Cranberry Recipes from other Seasonal Collaborators:
What Annie’s Eating =Cranberry Mojitos
Square Meal Round Table’s Cranberry Orange Streusel Pie
Easy and Delish -- Avocado Cranberry Hummus Dip
Flottelottehaan Buchteln with Cranberry Oranges Jam
The Cooking of Joy’s Cranberry Curd Tart
Jessie Sheehan Bakes - Cranberry Buckle
Ciao Chow Bambina - Cranberry Pecan Cracker Spread
Baking The Goods - Cranberry Apple Brown Butter Crumble Pie
Katiebird Bakes - Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls
Crumb Top Baking’s Cranberry Orange Overnight Oatmeal Muffins
The Baking Fairy - Vegan Cranberry Apple Bundt Cake
You Can Live Rich On Less - Cranberry Cherry Tarts
Sift & Simmer - White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Bappy Girl - https://bappygirlyum.blogspot.com/
Ronnie Fein - Baked Goat Cheese with Honey Sauce and Cranberries: http://www.ronniefein.com/blog/on-hanukkah-lets-not-forget-that-a-woman-played-a?rq=Cranberries
Lemon Thyme and Ginger https://lemonthymeandginger.com/baked-french-toast-apple-cranberry-compote
Cranberry Agua Fresca with Mint and Lime: http://www.holajalapeno.com/2016/11/cranberry-agua-fresca.html
Cranberry Pie with Dried Figs and Cashews: http://www.ronniefein.com/blog/honey-cashew-pie
Susannah Chen’s Cranberry Pico de Gallo
Katherine in Brooklyn: Cranberry Cinnamon Buns
Pie Girl Bakes: Dark Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies