I was watching a French TV show on homemade treats the other day and one of the recipes was for chouquettes. Chou-what? Yes, I know. If you live in the US, you’ve probably never heard of chouquettes… and it’s a shame. Chouquettes are a essentially a sugar-covered cream puff…without the cream. You just pop them in your mouth until they’re all gone. And that’s really the only problem with chouquettes. Once you start eating one, you can’t stop and soon the whole bag is gone. Actually, you can’t even buy one chouquette in France. That’s right, you buy them by weight. They’re so addictive that bakeries gave up on counting them for you. It’s their way of saying “who are we kidding, how about a bag-full?” At this point, I feel like bakeries should just measure them in minutes on the treadmill. “What will you have today?” “Oh…I think I’ll have a baguette and 40 minutes of cardio worth of chouquettes, s’il vous plait” So here it is, a super easy, super fast recipe for French Chouquettes:

French Chouquettes
 

makes 40 chouquettes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick of butter (113g)
  • 1¼ cup flour (150g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium nonstick saucepan, melt butter in water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. As soon as water/butter mixture boils, remove from the burner and dump in your flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. You will get a puffy ball of dough that comes off the sides of your saucepan easily. Let it cool to a little warmer than room temperature.
  3. Add 1 egg and stir to combine. Wait until the egg is completely incorporated before adding the next egg. Repeat.
  4. Using 2 spoons, an ice cream scoop or a piping bag, dump little balls of dough (about ¾” wide) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover each ball with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium nonstick saucepan, melt butter in water:

Bring to a boil. In the meantime, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
As soon as your water/butter mixture boils, remove the pan from the burner and dump in your flour mixture:

Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. You will get a puffy ball of dough that comes off the sides of your saucepan easily:

Let it cool to a little warmer than room temperature. The reason for that added patience is that the next step is adding the eggs. If you don’t wait for the flour butter puff (wow, that would make a great nickname, but I digress), you’ll pieces of scrambled eggs. Not pretty.
Add 1 egg and stir to combine. Wait until the egg is completely incorporated before adding the next egg. Repeat:

Using 2 spoons, an ice cream scoop or a piping bag, dump little balls of dough (about 3/4″ wide) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet:

 Cover each ball with sugar.  It gives the chouquettes their sugary bite and adds a nice crunch.

In France they use “sugar pearls”, which are really big sugar crystals. Yeah, good luck finding that here =) If you have a good case of OCD, you could stab sugar cubes with a pairing knife to get nice chunks. I find that raw sugar is a good substitute. Today I am using some shimmering sugar from Williams-Sonoma. They’re really large sugar crystals so it worked:

Bake for 15 minutes.

Looking back, I should have brushed them with an egg wash but that gives me an excuse to make more. Oh well.

Au Revoir!!!