I first had these in Paris, where bakeries would often sell them warm in little paper cones. I would snack on them as I walked to the next bakery (don’t judge), and they quickly became one of my favorite snacks. They are the perfect blend of texture (somewhere between crunchy and chewy) and just-sweet-enoughness, since the only sugar comes from the sprinkling of coarse pearl sugar on top. If you can’t find pearl sugar, sanding sugar or even sprinkles make a fun substitute. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way. Today, a lesson in all things pâte à choux—the fancy-sounding French pastry that's actually a cinch. —The Editors
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- makes 3 to 4 dozen chouquettes
recipe pâte à choux (https://food52.com/recipes...)
Egg wash, as needed
Pearl sugar, as needed
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the pâte à choux in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. If desired, pipe a small amount of pâte à choux at the corners of the parchment paper to help keep it in place while you work.
- Hold the pastry bag straight up and down above one of the baking sheets and pipe quarter-size mounds of pâte à choux onto the baking sheet, spaced at least 1 inch apart, and staggering the rows as you pipe. As each round nears the correct size, release the pressure on the bag and use a quick flick of the wrist to help break the connection between the dough and the pastry tip.
- Use a fingertip dipped in cool water to smooth the edge where you finished piping, if desired. Let the puffs sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush the puffs with egg wash, and garnish generously with pearl sugar. Bake until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before serving.