Birthday Choux au Craquelin: Sweet and Smokey Whiskey Lapsang Cookie Cream Puff Recipe

Posted December 9, 2017 by Stephanie
whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

We’re in Japan and it’s Mike’s birthday!! Two very sweet things. Unfortunately I am sick and cannot eat a thing but Mike is being very chill about not eating 24/7 and we’re still having a ton of fun. It’s one of the things I love best about him. If you look up easy going in the dictionary, I’m sure you’ll see a very cute illustration of his face. Mike and I are opposites in so many ways. When I’m sick, I’m essentially a big baby. I’m making a very huge effort right now not to be because we’re in Tokyo and it’s Mike’s birthday month, so I can’t really get away with it, but usually, I will lie around like a baby seal, thinking that I’m going to die, and hope for the best.

 whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

But, as much as we are opposite, we always surprise ourselves with how much we have in common too. I guess when you’ve been with someone for 11 years(!!) you can’t help but know each other in intimate, random ways. Ways like:

  1. Once, we were out having a random Chinese dinner with one of our dear friends. We were eating and the food was fantastic – it was at our favorite Chinese place – and I was looking around thinking, “man, if we were ever to have a Chinese banquet style wedding, it would totally be here.” Then, Mike opened his mouth and said to me, “I was just thinking, if we ever went back in time and wanted to have a Chinese wedding, it would be here.” I squealed and OMG-ed and said, “SAMESIES!” and our friend just rolled her eyes big time but I know she was moved by how cute we were. Okay, maybe she was just grossed out. >_<
  2. Or maybe that time when we somehow managed to buy each other the exact same anniversary card even though we bought them weeks apart.
  3. And, one of my favorites, the time when we both found the same container to buy. It was last year, in Tokyo – I bought a strawberry anko mochi from a street vendor and wanted to save it for home but it just came in a little cello bag. I popped it into my purse, hoping for the best while we went about our day. At one point in the day, we stopped inside a 100 yen store, wandered around separately and when we met up, we were both holding the exact same container for the mochi.

whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

It’s the tiny things like that make me appreciate Mike so much. I love that we are so different – he’s the calm to my wild, the pragmatic to my pie in the sky, the cream to my puff. He’s got the juice and the squeeze. He’s the real deal.

whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

I always like doing a lil birthday post for Mike because I want to scream it loud and proud: it’s his birthday! It’s a celebration! This year I made him cookie cream puffs because he has a thing for those cookie eclairs at Chickalicious. I went with puffs because they’re cuter though. I also went with a whiskey lapsang pastry cream because Mike loves whiskey and lapsang and the smokiness of the tea played very nicely with the whiskey. It was a success and Mike ate all the cream puffs before we left home. But, I think he may have liked the ones I left unfilled more than the ones that were filled. I guess I know for next year!

whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

Happy birthday boo. You’re the best at making me mashed potatoes, you give the best cuddles, and today is my absolute favorite day because it’s your birthday! I love you :)

whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog

Whiskey Lapsang Cookie Cream Puff Recipe
makes 8-10 cream puffs


  • 40 grams unsalted room temperature butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 45 grams light brown sugar
  • 38 grams all purpose flour
  • 8 grams almond flour

Pâte a Choux

  • 125 grams water
  • 62.5 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1.25 grams kosher salt
  • 69 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 to 137.5 grams eggs, lightly beaten (about 3 large eggs)

Whiskey Lapsang Pastry Cream

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey, lightly warmed
  • 1 tablespoon lapsang tea leaves
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Craquelin & Pâte a Choux adapted from Bouchon Bakery, very much inspired by Hint of Vanilla

Make the pastry cream: gently heat up the whiskey (be careful not to use too high of a heat or you might accidentally flambé it). Add the tea leaves and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes, then strain, pressing the tea leaves to extract as much liquid as possible. Top it off if you have less than 2 tablespoons.

In a small saucepan, heat up the milk and vanilla over medium heat until bubbles form. While that’s heating up, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar until light and airy, about five minutes. Mix in the flour until just combined, then gradually mix in the hot milk.

Transfer the whole thing back to the pan you heated up the milk in and whisk over medium-low heat until the cream starts to thicken and bubbles break the surface, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter immediately. Cool slightly by whisking over an ice bath and then let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Start off by making the craquelin. You want the butter to be room temperature, but not at all near the melting point. Cream the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the flours. It will be very dry and crumbly. Press the crumby mixture together as much as you can and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out, as thin as you can, ideally 1/4 of an inch thick. Don’t worry if you can’t roll it thinner because we’re going to pop it in the freezer, let it solidify a bit, then roll it out again. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then remove and roll out to 1/16 of an inch. You’ll be cutting this with a cookie cutter, so if it’s really rough, don’t worry, just try to make sure there are no holes.

Make the pâte a choux: in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the water, butter, and salt, stirring to melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and immediately add the flour and using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir like your life depends on it. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes, until the dough becomes very smooth and glossy. The bottom of the pan should be clean.

Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds to release some heat and steam. Slowly pour in 50 grams of the egg, beating until completely incorporated. Add in the next batch of eggs, repeating. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. When all of the eggs are added, increase the speed to high and beat for 30 seconds. The dough should form a bird’s beak – stiff enough to hold it’s shape and fold down on itself slightly, but not stiff enough to break. Transfer to a large pastry bag and chill in the fridge until cold, 20-30 minutes.

At this point, you can pipe out your cream puffs onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or if you have a silicone mold, pipe them into the mold. If you’re using the mold, you’ll need to freeze it until it’s solid enough to pop out.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 357°F. While the oven is heating, prepare the craquelin tops by cutting out rounds using a round cookie cutter about the size of your cream puff. When the oven has come to temp, place the craquelin on top of the cream puff and place in the oven. Turn the temperature down to 350°F and bake for 30-35 minutes. The puffs should be puffy and golden brown. Lower the temperature to 325° and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. The puffs should feel very light and hollow. If you aren’t sure, sacrifice one and break it open, the center should be completely dry and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. To fill, either cut off the top quarter and pipe in the filling, or use a small knife to make a hole in the bottom and pipe in the filling. Enjoy immediately!

whiskey cookie cream puffs | i am a food blog


  1. Mike says:

    just so you know these are actually better than chickalicious

  2. Natalie says:

    YUM! These cream puffs look phenomenal ♥ The whiskey pastry cream sounds delicious!

  3. Monica says:

    What a sweet post! Happy birthday to your Mike and I’m sure he enjoyed these amazing treats. I loved reading about how different you guys are in some ways but how alike you really are at the same time…it makes for a very good, balanced relationship, believe me!
    ; ) Thanks for sharing and much happiness to you both. Feel better!

  4. Aw happy birthday Mike! Also these are adorbs, and I love the whiskey addition. xoxo

  5. Tuulia says:

    Awww.. you two are way too cute ^^ Happy times in Japan, I wish I could go there too!!!

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