Cream Puffs or Countdown to 40 Giveaway - I'm 39 8/12 years old!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
One cream puff for every year...

As I mentioned exactly a month ago, I'm turning 40 this year. And it kinda knocked me over a bit. So, I started my celebration last month and will continue to celebrate the end of my 30's until December 7, 2010. Today I'm 39 8/12. (And yes, math nerds, I know I can reduce that to 2/3, but just work with me here... ;)

Last week, Chef-in-Training Johnson & Wales student Rosie came over and taught me and my friends how to make Challah (see post here), Cream Puffs and Pastry Cream. I've always been afraid of pastry cream, but Rosie's excellent teaching technique brought us two perfect batches: vanilla and chocolate.

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
Aren't these cute? Just wait til you see what's inside...

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
Oh yes! Glorious chocolate and vanilla pastry cream. I could (and did) eat a boatload of these little gems of goodness.

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
Here is the 8/12th cream puff! :) Heading toward 40...

We used Vanilla Paste - an inexpensive alternative to real vanilla beans. It gives you all the flecks of vanilla beans for much less green.

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
Making some cream puffs. Rosie brought over her family's sheet, it has some "patina" on it.

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
All lined up. Ready to be eaten! :)

To celebrate my birthday, I'm having a MONTHLY giveaway until I turn 40. For the "4 month" countdown, I'm giving away a $39 8/12 Sur la Table gift card to one lucky winner! ($39.67 US Dollar gift certificate to Sur la Table). FCC Disclosure: My birthday giveaways are paid for by me.

To enter, just leave a comment (if you aren't connected to a blog, leave your email address...and if you have a blogger account but it's private so I can't see it...leave your email address). Deadline is Saturday, August 14, 2010 at midnight PDT. (*Updated 8/8: I had Wed 8/14, but that is wrong so it is now corrected to Saturday, 8/14! Thanks Edana for the correction!)

**Updated: Contest is closed. Congrats to Laurie #22 who won!**

Cream Puffs with Vanilla & Chocolate Pastry Cream
Thanks to Rosie for the great pastry class, and thanks to all my readers for the warm pre-birthday messages last month. Yes, 40 is the new 30! Whooo hooo! - mary
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Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Happy early birthday... again!!

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

These cream puffs look absolutely perfect. Rosie definitely has serious skills. That chocolate pastry cream looks amazing. Goodness!

Happy 39 8/12th birthday!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Love the cream puffs! In a flash, I just whip heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and a little sugar for the filling and top with chocolate sauce in case I don't have time to make custard.

Happy 39th & 8/12!

Beth said... [Reply to comment]

these cream puffs are perfect! and your 40th birthday will be too!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

No recipes?! The cream puffs look absolutely perfect and delicious, makes me want to give them a try. Happy birthday! You're looking at 40 this year and I'm looking at 50 and really trying to ignore it! Thanks - Winnie

Lori R. said... [Reply to comment]

OH MY,,, these look absolutely delish!!! I have always used Watkins vanilla, but I will look into vanilla paste. Happy Pre-Birthday... When I turned 50, I decided not to use numbers anymore, so I was 50D this year! Next year, 50E....

Amy K said... [Reply to comment]

Happy 39 8/12's Birthday (yes, I'm working with ya)!
These little goodies look absolutely delicious - I am all about vanilla anything! Thanks for the vanilla paste tip...gotta check that out.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

There is nothing to fear of being 40.
I really like the idea of Rosie's classes at your house. The cream puffs look very yummy.

CaSaundraLeigh said... [Reply to comment]

40 is definitely the new 30!! :-) Thanks for the neat giveaway!

Cristine said... [Reply to comment]

Happy 39 8/12! Your cream puffs look amazing!

Elise said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look delicious! Thank you sharing your birthday with us!

Jen said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Birthday! Thanks for hosting this giveaway. My email is

CH said... [Reply to comment]

I'm the first to make a comment! The baby puffs look great. Cream puffs really aren't hard at all. I learn to make them in Home Ec class 40 years ago!

Erica Thomas said... [Reply to comment]

Oh yum!!!

Natalie said... [Reply to comment]

Looks so good! Good tip about the vanilla paste. PS- I'm sure you don't look a day over 29 8/12. :)

Erin said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Unbirthday! (Work with me here, it's approaching but not here yet!) I personally like to think of birthdays as presents-and-cake days. It makes them much more exciting!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Aaack! I'm turning 40 in Nov and now that you put it this way, I better get my butt moving and do something. I think I'll go have breakfast.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Happy JOY JOY, have a nice birthday

Diane said... [Reply to comment]

Those puffs look amazing!

Diane and Lily

deebenner at gmail dot com

Ari said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Almost Birthday! Those cream puffs look amaaazing...

slush said... [Reply to comment]

Yum! They look awesome!

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

I love your celebration style! Yum!!!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

happy early birthday! these look wonderful! it makes me want to make cream puffs...

webmailaddress2 said... [Reply to comment]

Cream puffs sound unhealthy (and they are!), but they are SO delish! Happy getting-closer-to-your-birthday!

Liz said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, those are the most perfectly shaped cream puffs I've seen. Happy 39 8/12ths!

Meandering Eats said... [Reply to comment]

Happy early birthday! Those cream puffs look like an excellent way to ring in the 8/12. Dang, now I want a cream puff. I'm 29 2/12 (or 1/6 for the math nerds), so I know the feeling of counting down.

Federica Simoni said... [Reply to comment]


Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

im turning 40 too so a very exciting year ahead!

Robin said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy, yum-yum! 40 is the new 30. said... [Reply to comment]

Those look great. I love the paste! -Jessica M.

Karen said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Birthday Mary! Love your blog. You will rock 40.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said... [Reply to comment]

Happy almost birthday but honestly I think you're lying. Not that you shouldn't be proud about your age but I've seen you and you look 25.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I'm ramping up for 40 right there with you! Cream puffs are definitely one of my favorite ways to celebrate! Kelly

NikiTheo said... [Reply to comment]

Mmmmm.... I've never made chocolate pastry cream! Guess now's a good time to start huh?

Monica H said... [Reply to comment]

I can't think of a better way to celebrate being 39 and 2/3 than by eating that many cream puffs- I love it!

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Yum! Those cream puffs look delicious. I'm such a sucker for pastry cream!

Karen said... [Reply to comment]

Speaking from the perspective of one who just turned 50... the 40's are way more fabulous than the 30's could ever hope to be!!!

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look amazing!

Mrs. G said... [Reply to comment]

Great looking cream puffs! Happy 39 8/12 birthday!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Those look amazing! Yum

angela said... [Reply to comment]

loveee your blog!!! happy almost bday!

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look amazing! Especially the chocolate one.

carrie said... [Reply to comment]

Happy happy birthday. Gonna go make me some cream puffs now.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

OH i love cream puffs!

Di said... [Reply to comment]

Now you've got me thinking that I need to start coming up with some interesting way of celebrating my next birthday, since I turn 40 just a couple months after you. =) The cream puffs look delicious. I haven't made any pate a choux for quite a while.

Taya@TypeB said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look great - I'll have to give them a try! Thanks for another great birthday giveaway!

Gail said... [Reply to comment]

Happy 39 8/12 birthday! Forty is a great age (I was there 15 years ago) and the older you get, the better things are -- they just change a lot. The cream puffs look fabulous. Great post about the challah too, and it's nice to see what you look like after all this time.

chibi said... [Reply to comment]

I love cream puffs.
I have made them twice.
The first time something went wrong.
But the second time was perfect.

Lisa said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look amazing.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Oh those look so good. nom nom nom

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

happy early birthday! the cream puffs look very delicious!

Ellen Kim said... [Reply to comment]

Happy almost birthday! (:
and the creme puffs look so amazing.

Fathima said... [Reply to comment]

cream puffs looks perfect!

The Urban Baker said... [Reply to comment]

so cute! happy almost b-day! enjoy it and eat lots of cake!

Edana said... [Reply to comment]

Oooh, I want a bundt pan...or maybe cake rings...or a tart pan...yes! One of those things.

Is the deadline Wednesday, August 11th or Saturday, August 14th? (I mean, it doesn't matter for me because I'm commenting now but someone else might be confused later...)

Gail said... [Reply to comment]

happy birthday!! i loved last month's peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Edana #56, Thanks for catching that! I must have been looking at the wrong calendar or something! I have corrected it to give a longer entry period - until Sat, August 14th. - mary the food librarian

Choclette said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wonderful, you've sold the cream puff mystery for me. I always wondered what they were and now I know.

Elsie said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look so great! I'm so glad you extended the deadline... The 14th is my wedding day!

Unique Chocolate Gifts said... [Reply to comment]

WOW!!this is great..thank you for sharing this one.Happy Birthday!!

Susan C said... [Reply to comment]

Funny how 40 seems old when you're on one side of it, but young on the other side. Too bad we don't appreciate how "young" we are until a few years have passed.

Those cream puffs are little works of art.

hannepa said... [Reply to comment]

Those puffs look delightful!

Happy 39 and 8/12 :)

grace said... [Reply to comment]

have i mentioned how awesome and generous this is? i think i have, and i intend to do it again for each giveaway. :)

charlene020 said... [Reply to comment]

Happy to you! I love cream puffs and your pastry cream both the chocolate and vanilla please me and my fiance - I am going to try these this week-end. Thanks and enjoy your week!

Natalie said... [Reply to comment]

i want some of those cream puffs right NOW!

please enter me in your giveaway, thanks :)

Arthur Esqueda said... [Reply to comment]

They look so yummy, thank you for the coffee jello that you brought to LHQ btw, they were very delicious.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Happy 39th & 8/12, from one librarian to another :)

The cream puffs look amazing - I'm so inspired to take those baking class now....


Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

Next time you have a little baking party, I wanna join via Skype :)

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

These bites remind me of my beloved BEARD PAPA cream puffs. We don't have Beard Papa in Colorado but you're inspiring me to try my hand at making these at home!

e. said... [Reply to comment]


Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

happy early birthday!!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I love how you got it down the 8/12 into cents. You are too funny.

Vivien said... [Reply to comment]

i want a sur la table voucher :)

sweet delight said... [Reply to comment]

Your cream puffs look divine, I bet they would be terrific with ice cream!

BettyAgnes said... [Reply to comment]

Cream puffs and challah bread. Say no more! I also love filling cream puffs with chicken or tuna salad for a more savory taste. YUM.

sulkygrrl (at) gmail (dot) com

Amber2Zoe said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look so delicious!

carmen said... [Reply to comment]

Yum - LOVE cream puffs!

carmencooksblog at gmail dot com

renee said... [Reply to comment]

Are you going to post the recipe for the cream puffs?

zaza said... [Reply to comment]

Sur la Table is my numero uno kitchen gadget store. plus their classes are often very unique and have local flavors

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

these cream puffs look great! i'd love to win :)

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

What perfect little cream puffs!

Kirbie said... [Reply to comment]

cream puffs have been on my to do list for a while now. Yours look so delicious!

Becki Sue said... [Reply to comment]

I've always been too intimidated to try cream puffs. Yours look gorgeous!!!

cookingmama said... [Reply to comment]

What an awesome way to celebrate your upcoming bday! Looking forward to the exciting!

Hennifer said... [Reply to comment]

I saw this photo this weekend and about dropped everything to make some! I adore cream puffs!

I love that you are making your upcoming birthday loads of fun!

Kirsten Hansen said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy! So very, very jealous. Those look so yummy! So highly unfair when I am longing for an afternoon snack.

Laurel7221 said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy! Nice info on vanilla paste.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Those cream puffs look amazing!


Lara @ GoodCookDoris said... [Reply to comment]

Yum! Cream puffs look delightful!

ellen s said... [Reply to comment]

how fun and generous of you. happy early birthday!

songes1 at gmail

Esi said... [Reply to comment]

I love that you're a pro baker and still have people come over to teach you things. You're so fab, Mary!

renee said... [Reply to comment]

are you going to posting the cream puff recipes?

Jelli said... [Reply to comment]

I love making cream puffs! mmm

Ms. K.I.M. said... [Reply to comment]

Happy almost 40th Birthday!!! Great Give-a-way!!

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

The cream puffs look SO good!

Happy early birthday!

Yosha said... [Reply to comment]

Wow those look gorgeous! I hope at some point you'll post the vanilla cream recipe. That's my issue.

happy 4/12 month early birthday!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the giveaway! I am impressed with your cream puffs, have always wanted to try them but have never done it. Happy pre-birthday!

Baking and Mistaking said... [Reply to comment]

Happy almost birthday!

Question - how long do these stay fresh for?

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Baking and Mistaking #98, I have no idea. We, um, ate them all. :) I have had them the next day and they were fine as long as they were refrigerated. Thanks for visiting, and the pre-bday wishes! - mary the food librarian

Lori said... [Reply to comment]

Happy 39 8/12 Birthday! I love your blog and just last week made the lemon berry bundt cake! It was a hit!

Katrina said... [Reply to comment]

And the countdown continues! Happiness to you in this final chapter of your 30's. Forty isn't bad-I have to say that since I'll be 41 in Nov!

Sanhita said... [Reply to comment]

Happy birthday and happy eating!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Love your blog everything you make is gorgeous!

Queenscook said... [Reply to comment]

I just celebrated (?) my 50th, so I know how you feel. The cream puffs look great.

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Those look delicious---mmmmm chocolate pastry cream!

Cookin' Canuck said... [Reply to comment]

Your choux pastry is absolutely perfect! Happy 39 8/12! We're almost exactly the same age. I'm at 39 7/12.

Active Foodie said... [Reply to comment]

I love cream puffs, these look darling!

conci9999 at yahoo dot com said... [Reply to comment]

The cream puffs look yummy!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Those look amazing! I now have an urge to go and make some! Happy 39 8/12!

kasey said... [Reply to comment]

Happy Almost Birthday! :D


TeaLady said... [Reply to comment]

I like 8/12s better!!! Your cream puffs are beautiful. Wish mine would come out 1/2 that well.

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

Take it from one that is already in "that" club, 40 is definitely the new 30, and you will be in fantastic company. :)

Happy 8/12th b-day Mary, and enjoy those delicious looking cream puffs!

Panya said... [Reply to comment]

My husband loves profiteroles. Happy early birthday again!

Kathy Diaz (found baking) said... [Reply to comment]

I love your birthday countdown! Hahahaha! True, 40 is the new 30. I can't say no to pastry cream. Moreover, I can't say no to cream puffs. Especially these cream puffs that are perfectly leavened. They are beautiful.

You have a great year waiting for you. Happy Early Birthday!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

My wife will kill for these puffs with chocolate

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

mmmm they look delicious!

Kristen J said... [Reply to comment]

Cream Puffs look divine!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

they look absolutely delectable!!!


Anna M. said... [Reply to comment]

happy early birthday! Those look so good! I am kind of scared to try to make bread or cream puffs like this. Those look really delicious!

Oh a side note, my mom is taking a pastry chef class. She apparently brings delicious treats home but since I'm in LA I totally miss out :( ha!

Again, happy early birthday!

Sunshine said... [Reply to comment]

The bread looked fabulous! Let's celebrate your birthday when we are in SoCal for Christmas!

annalene said... [Reply to comment]

Happy (early) 40th!

Thanks so much for sharing with us: the giveaway and your wonderful blog!

Cookietreat said... [Reply to comment]


Mary said... [Reply to comment]

ooo cream puffs are awesome. Now I want to go out and get some! Yummy! Cheers!

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