Cheesy Craisin Puffs…Holiday Leftover Idea

I came up with this recipe   a few years ago for a Ocean Spray Competition. Nothing came of it, but I feel they are quite good and an excellent way to use leftovers if you have lingering holiday guests, open houses, or what have you. You can make  these for any event using cooked turkey breast or leftovers. I like that the prep can be done in advance.  The puffs are essentially Gougeres, that can be baked ahead and stored in airtight containers for 1 day or frozen until use.The Chicken or Turkey Salad can also be made ahead until assembly.


Cheesy Craisins Chicken or Turkey  Puffs

makes 40 appetizers

Puff Ingredients
1 cup milk
8 tbsp butter ( 1 stick)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/2 cup Craisins chopped fine or dried cranberries
1/2 cup Swiss or Gruyere Cheese grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
* a large Piping bag or Ziploc bag
Craisins Chicken Salad
3 1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken breast or turkey breast
1/2 cup Craisins chopped fine
1/4 cup finely chopped  peeled apple
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard or extra strong mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
Puff Preparation:
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add milk,butter, sugar, and salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat.Stir while  the mixture is coming to a boil.Turn down heat or remove . Add the flour and mix until combined with a wooden spoon. Turn up heat to medium and mix the dough until it forms a ball and none is sticking to the sides of the pan. This will take a few minutes.
In a large bowl with a electric mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the dough. Carefully add the eggs, one at a time until all is incorporated . Add the cheese , Craisins, and spices. Mix well.
Fill either a large Piping Bag or a Ziploc bag with the dough mixture. Cut the tip opening to no more than 1/2 inch in diameter( this will allow the dough to be piped, without the Craisins bits blocking the opening).
Preheat oven to 350 F.
On a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet , pipe small bite size rounds of dough. Smooth any pointed tips with an oiled/buttered spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool on rack. When cool enough to handle, take a small serrated knife and slit the puffs to prevent sogginess. Store in an airtight container, freeze, or set aside until ready to fill.
Craisins Chicken Salad Preparation:
In a large bowl  combine  chicken, Craisins, apple, mayonnaise, mustard, and spices. Mix well. Allow to set for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Take a slit puff and fill with a generous mound of Craisins Chicken Salad.Assemble on a platter and serve at room temperature.


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