Smoked salmon salad is served on cream puff pastry buns with cheddar cheese and poppy seeds

Smoked Salmon Cream Puffs

Infuse elegance into any gathering with these appetizer puffs. Give tradition a makeover by adding cheddar cheese to the pastry dough and sprinkling with poppy seeds before baking. Smoked salmon, roasted peppers and chives in a cream cheese base create an impressive hors d'oeuvre. Chill the salmon mixture before filling, or fill and chill right in the puffs.

Makes 18 puffs

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions

To make filling, in a medium bowl stir together salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, roasted red pepper, chives and hot sauce. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

To make cream puff shells, preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan, heat water, butter and salt over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Add flour and cayenne pepper; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Stir in cheddar cheese. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheet, smoothing tops with finger moistened with water. Sprinkle each with a pinch of poppy seeds. Bake about 25 minutes or until light brown on bottom. Remove to wire rack; cool slightly. With a serrated knife, cut in half horizontally. Remove and discard soft dough inside.

To assemble, spoon 2 level tablespoons filling into shell bottoms. Place tops over filling. Assembled cream puffs may be chilled in a covered container up to 3 hours before serving.

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