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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Betsy's Pastry Swans

This is by far my favorite Christmas dessert. I have a tray of these sitting on the dessert buffet every year. They look complicated but really aren't difficult.
Pastry Swans
Bodies ~ Pate a Choux

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Combine butter, salt, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted and the water just comes to a boil. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir rapidly. Return the pan to the heat, and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until it comes together and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and let cool for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until they are completely incorporated and the pastry is smooth. Transfer the pastry to a bag fitted with a small coupler. Pipe about 1/2 tablespoon of the pastry into an oval mound on the prepared baking sheet; continue piping until 12 'bodies' have been made, spacing pastry about 1 1/2 inches apart. Then pipe 12 long "S" shapes for the heads/necks on a separate sheet. Combine egg white with remaining 1 tablespoon of water, and brush the top of each mound and the necks with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown all over, about 20 minutes for the bodies and 10 minutes for the necks. Watch closely to prevent burning. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Cream puff shells can be made in advance, and frozen in resealable bags. When ready to use, defrost and warm in a 350 degree oven for three minutes until crisp.
Filling
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
6 oz Cool Whip
In mixer, blend softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla
Stir in Cool Whip with a spatula.
I put my filling in a pastry bag, which makes it easier to fill the
bodies, but you can just spoon it in just fine.
To Assemble (just before serving) ~
Cut tops off of bodies and divide the tops lengthwise to create 2 wings.
Fill each body with a large dollop of creamy filling
Arrange neck and wings to create swans by sticking ends into filling.
Can serve each in their own 'pool' of chocolate sauce, or drizzle chocolate on top.
Yield: Makes about 12
Seven Swans A-Swimming!
I'm joining in with Lisa and Sweet As Sugar Cookies.
Click HERE for more great recipes!
And also Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party HERE!

53 comments:

  1. Wow! Those are stunning! You have so many talents. I bet they taste as good as they look too.

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  2. Thanks, Jill ~ sit down and have one. I'll make coffee. :)

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  3. These are amazing and look beautiful Betsy, I love them!!

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  4. They look gorgeous--I'm a cream puff fan so I bet I would love these! Thanks for the tip on Picasa. I downloaded it, and am impressed so far. Part of my problem is finding time to play with my camera and try different stuff. Ya want to babysit for the afternoon? Ha!

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  5. You know how the food part goes with me
    But wow those are a delight to see
    Makes one want to even play with their food
    Even if that is considered rude..haha

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  6. Rebecca ~ oh good...glad you like it. I've had my camera a whole year and still haven't sat down and read the book or figured out how to take a video. Pathetic, I know. ha.

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  7. Pat ~

    Yes if eating it caused a fit
    just make it swim like magic.
    Or maybe Orlin would like to attack
    which I bet Tiger's attempts will not lack.

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  8. These look so elegant Betsy. I have seen them served up in hotels but never thought trying to actually making them. I might give it a go this year.

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  9. You should try it, Denise...you can make the pastry ahead, like the recipe says.

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  10. Orlin does chew the tail off all his toys
    So I'm sure a swan neck would bring such joys..haha

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  11. Pat ~ lol....the last real mouse brought up to the back porch was missing his tail.
    It must a feline thing without fail.

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  12. I find really pretty Betsy I never have made something like these! and love swans:)

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  13. Thanks, Gloria ~ I've seen these filled with icecream instead of the filling. Since it's almost summer there, I bet your kids would love that. :)

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  14. betsy these look fantastic...very artsy...and bet they do taste good...and nice moon shot in the header...

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  15. Awwww that's toooooooo pretty to eat!!! Lovely! Take care
    x

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  16. I agree, they almost look too good to eat... but that won't stop me. Yum.

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  17. Betsy you say are easy but I dont know, Im sure they would love these specially María Esperanza:)
    They are perfect, with ice Cream would be nice too:)

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  18. You've shown these before, haven't you? They seem very familiar!

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  19. you are unbelievable! How gorgeous did these come out!!!

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  20. These are beautiful! I love these swans.

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  21. Yes, Silver ~ I made them last year. :)

    Lady ~ thank you!

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  22. Oh my goodness! Those look absolutely amazing! I would love it if you would stop by and share them at Mrs Foxs Sweet Party :) http://mrsfoxssweets.blogspot.com/2011/12/mrs-foxs-sweet-party-1.html

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  23. These swans are so striking! Such an elegant looking dessert!

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  24. Aaah, they are super pretty and such a neat shape! Love them! I'll bet they simply melt in your mouth. Thanks for sharing...

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  25. Betsy, Soooo impressive! You make them sound so easy, but I bet it takes a "knack" to make them look as pretty as yours. How you have time to do all you do is quite amazing!! Very nice job. Mickie :)

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  26. Mickie ~ no, they really are easy! If you can draw an "S" and an oval, you can do this!

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  27. Breathtaking in looks....Mouth watering in taste..

    Oh would I love to sit at your table and share a swan or two.

    Love the plates which look like a pond of water....how clever!!!

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  28. Wanda ~ pull up a chair and I'll brew some tea! :)

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  29. Oh my goodness....it just keeps getting better! I'd be tempted to put a layer of polyurethane on them and hang them on the tree, not of course, until I ate one myself. Beautiful!

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  30. Hi Betsy! These are gorgeous. Thanks so much for your comment on yummy mummy. I'm happy to have found YOUR blog and am following. You are an amazing woman and mom... and creative person!

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  31. yummy mummy ~ well, I thought the same about you and your blog, dear! Thanks for stopping by!

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  32. Betsy, these are the most elegant swans I think I have ever seen. I made them years ago and they were not anywhere near as beautiful as these. I am thinking that mine had short fat necks instead of long elegant ones. What a fun tradition.

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  33. They look delicious! You are a creative lady. :-)

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  34. Boy do these look yummy!! I have bookmarked this page. I am going to try this for sure. So beautiful
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  35. they look like they want to swim in my belly :) Let them come over here :)
    A marvelous creation, Betsy!

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  36. Sending them swimming over, Dezmond. ha.

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  37. VERY elegant looking, Betsy!! Beautiful! blessings ~ tanna

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  38. Wow! thes are really beautiful - so creative - I've just found your blog from the lovely English Kitchen and so glad I did! I've signed up to follow and looking forward to more:)
    Maryx

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  39. Hi Betsy,
    What a lovely presentation for you beautiful Pastry Swans. Thank you so much for visiting me, I just love it when folks stop by to have tea. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great week end!
    Miz Helen
    New Follower

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  40. Oh.my.goodness. Your swans are so beautiful. They remind me of how my mother used to make cream puffs (yum). By the way, your chocolate peanut clusters have become part of our holiday tradition.

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  41. Thanks, Janelle~ I'm so glad you like the peanut clusters...they are one of our favorites, too...obviously. ..and I have to make extra because we can't keep out of them! HA.

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  42. Mary and Helen ~ thanks so much for stopping by!

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  43. Oh, these look incredible!!! I have no trouble with cream puff dough, but I hope I can follow your lead and make these gorgeous swans one day soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  44. Hi Betsy, thanks for visiting my blog! I have made these swans before & it was years ago for my parents' anniversary. They are fun to make, aren't they? I love cream puffs!!

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  45. Hi Betsy, thanks for visiting my blog! I have made these swans before & it was years ago for my parents' anniversary. They are fun to make, aren't they? I love cream puffs!!

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  46. Those are just gorgeous! I think they're just the perfect dessert . . . and are now on the list! Thank you, Betsy!
    ~Debbi

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  47. P.S. Amazing moon shot! Wow! Did you get the eclipse, too? Or was it visible to you? Beautiful!

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  48. you certainly do have skills. and those chocolate peanut clusters to the right look so delicious and amazing.

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  49. These swans look and sound amazing. I would love it if you came to link to my holiday recipe swap blog hop. It is my first ever! Love these recipes.
    www.mythirtyspot.com
    -Erin Kennedy

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  50. Betsy you talented girl, keeping that from me........your swans are beautiful I was in a cupcake wars last year and these were made sitting on top of a cupcake....oh my. andi I'm following along

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  51. Andi ~ on top of a cupcake? Oh my...I'm sure that stole the show! Wouldn't those the gorgeous for a wedding! Wow. Thanks for visiting!

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  52. you've made these before, no? Lovely. i'm sure they taste even better. :)

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