Monday, March 19, 2012

"Oh, Pretty Baby!"

Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Franki Valli
How many of us are lucky enough to have our theme song born the same year we are?  My little sister is! "You're just too good to be true!  Can't take my eyes off of you!  You'd be like heaven to touch!  I wanna hold you so much!"  I could literally quote the whole song and it would completely sum up how I felt as my eyes gazed upon her for the very first time.  The only thing I would change is, instead of the "And I thank God I'm alive" part, I'd say "And I thank God you're alive." She completely transformed my life - in the very best of ways.  And these Lemon Cream Puffs are what I made for her to celebrate her birthday this year!

It was my little sister's birthday this past week and I had her and her family over for dinner to celebrate the day she rocked my world!

You see, I was seven years old when she arrived and had reigned those seven years as the princess supreme in our home - the youngest child AND the only girl after three boys.  I admit I was a bit spoiled.  You'd think I'd resent the arrival of a new baby - and a girl, at that.  But not so!  If I could only take you with me back to that day in March when my parents brought her home.  They sent you home in a box in those days!  No, really!  It was like a cardboard cradle sort of thing - not a car seat in sight!

They brought her in and placed her on the table and I peeked over the side of that box and saw the most exquisite little human being ever!  "Oh, pretty baby!!!"  Instantly, I was in love and I couldn't take my eyes off her.  She was teeny, tiny with a perfectly round little head and tiny, pink lips.  She had wisps of dark, curly hair and blue, blue, blue eyes.  She was better than any baby doll I had ever had!  And I wanted to hold her, feed her, kiss her - I can only imagine what my parents had to go through to keep me away!

I look forward to celebrating this special time with her.  It always makes me reflect to that very first time we met.

When I asked her what she would like for a dessert she started out vague.  I could tell she was poking around to see if I already had something in mind.  I didn't.  At all.  Complete blank.  I suggested the usual - cake, pie, cookies, etc.  All she would settle on was "something with lemon."  Hmmm.  Thanks, sis!  But, then, it popped right into my head - right after Lemon Meringue pie, of course, which is MY birthday dessert!  No - I couldn't make her MY favorite!  I'll make cream puffs!  I haven't made cream puffs for a very long time!  And I'll make a lemon filling to go inside!  They'll be light and airy!  A perfect finish for the lasagna I had already decided to make for dinner.  Yay for good decisions!

Her son sure liked the puffs!  Much more than the "basagna," although I'm proud of him for making a respectable attempt!  I also served a garlic parmesan bread and that's really not fair competition to "basagna" in kid-land.  If I was five, I'd only want to eat the bread, too!  But he sure perked up when the Lemon Cream Puffs came out!  I'm pretty sure you will, too!

Lemon Cream Puffs

1 batch of cream puff shells

Lemon Filling:
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice (1 - 2 lemons)
2 T. butter
1 c. whipping cream
1 T. sugar

3 oz. white chocolate
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Follow the instructions on my tutorial page to make the cream puff shells.

For the filling, combine the egg and sugar in a small saucepan and stir well to combine.  Add the lemon juice and butter and mix well.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to stir until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat a spoon.  Press through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the filling to keep a film from forming.  Chill.

Pour the whipping cream into another bowl and beat on medium low speed.  Small bubbles with form.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer.  When the cream starts to form soft peaks, sprinkle the sugar in and continue beating on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.
Scoot the whipped cream to the side of the bowl and add the chilled lemon filling to the empty space.  Using your spatula, stir and scrape the lemon filling until it is loosened up.  Start incorporating the whipped cream in to the lemon filling about a quarter cup at a time until you've stirred in about a cup of the whipped cream.  Then pull the rest of the whipped cream in and stir it all together.  It will be a very light and airy, but lemony, filling.  Place in a pastry bag.  Cut the cream puffs in half and pipe the filling inside so that some of it holds the puff ajar.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted.  About 40 seconds.  Place in a ziploc bag and snip off the corner.  Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the tops of the puffs.

Place the powdered sugar in a small strainer and very lightly dust the tops of the puffs.  Enjoy!


  1. If I tell you when my birthday is, will you bring me a treat too?!?!? Those look delish!

    1. If I'm in town then I'd love to bring something by!

  2. Oh my gosh, these look amazing! btw, when I was reading your post about "Reuben" (oh, Reuben!), Chris walked by the computer, and quickly seeing the picture, said, "Mmmm! That looks good!"

    1. Haha! I thought of Chris the whole time knowing he loves this sandwich as much as I do!

  3. These were amazing! I love you sis!