As promised, here's the recipe for the cream horns I made last week. These are easier than they look, just a bit time-consuming. My friend Staci is even going to make them this week with her kids. And no, I promise I'm not turning into a cooking blog.
(The instructions for the horns are from Cuisine at Home magazine; the filling recipe is from my friend Chef Tara)
1 box sugar ice cream cones
1 box frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1 tsp water
1/2 cup turbinado sugar*
1 box (4-serving) instant pudding (vanilla or chocolate)
1 cup whipping cream
A few preliminary notes
*Turbinado sugar is a coarse, tan-colored sugar. I found it easily at the grocery store (sold as a brand called “Sugar in the Raw” in little packets). You’ll use it in this recipe to sprinkle on the outside of the horns. Do not substitute regular granulated sugar which will burn.
When I made these, I doubled the batch (used 2 boxes of puff pastry) and I finished with 23 horns. I made two batches of filling so I could fill half the horns with chocolate, half with vanilla.
The trick with the puff pastry is to keep it as cold as possible. Follow directions on the box to thaw it (takes about 40 minutes on the counter). Cover it with a damp paper towel when you’re not directly working with it and put it back in the fridge if it starts to get too mushy.
Making the horns
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray.
Prepare the sugar cones by wrapping each in foil, then coating with nonstick spray. Slice the puff pastry into three sections (along the fold lines) then into 1/2 inch-wide strips (the long way) with a pizza wheel. Form horns by wrapping 3 strips of pastry around each mold, starting at the tip and overlapping the strips to prevent gaps. (The horns are very “forgiving” and look great once they’re cooked even if the strips aren’t the same thickness. Just be sure to overlap the edges and squeeze the tip closed so the filling won’t leak out). Rest the horns on the cookie sheet with the end of the last strip underneath. I fit 8 cones to a sheet.
You can re-use the cone-molds over and over. Just wipe them off a bit and spray them lightly again with nonstick spray between batches.
Whisk the egg and water together. Lightly brush each horn with the egg wash. Sprinkle them with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack for 2 minutes, then remove molds. Cool pastry completely before filling with cream.
Whisk 1 pkg pudding with 1 cup cold milk (half of what it normally calls for). In separate bowl, whip cream, 2 Tsp. powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla to soft peaks. For the vanilla flavored cones, I also added 1/4 tsp almond flavoring. Fold the pudding and the whipped cream together until you get one color.
Another possible filling idea: Whip cream with 2 Tsp. powdered sugar and a squeeze or two (to taste) of strawberry jam. It makes a light, tasty strawberry whipped cream.
The horns look best if you use a pastry tip and bag to fill them. Or in a pinch you can use a Ziploc bag with one corner cut off. Fill the horns no more than a couple of hours before serving so they don’t get soggy.