As much as I try to keep my daily food intake directed to healthy foods only, occasionally I just have to give in to my number one favorite dessert; eclairs. I was watching The Chew today and was reminded about these little guys. So, I did some digging and found their recipe for chocolate and hazelnut eclairs. They are relatively low calorie, IF you can get away with only eating one. I recommend eclairs after an Italian cuisine entree, or a generally light entree, as eclairs are light and fluffy and keep with the trend. They can be served with fat free NSA (no sugar added) frozen yogurt or gelato, or they fly solo wonderfully as well. Give this recipe a shot if you have some extra time. It’s rated easy to make, doesn’t cost much, and is SO good. The only thing I suggest you keep in mind with this delicious dessert recipe is that it is time consuming, and takes about 4 hours to complete the entire recipe. Set aside an afternoon or evening to make these and enjoy! One final note is that they do freeze well stored in a ziploc storage container. Thaw at room temperature for an hour before serving or thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Calories per Serving: 248
Cost per Serving: $0.42
Total Cost: $10.08

-1 cup Unsalted Butter
-2 cups Water
-Pinch Salt
-2 cups Unbleached Flour
-7 Eggs

For the Hazelnut Creme:
– 2 cups Whole Milk
-5 Large Egg Yolks
– 1/2 cup Sugar
-1/4 cup Cornstarch
-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract or Hazelnut Liqueur

To Dip in Chocolate:
-1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature) cut into tablespoon sized pieces
-8 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 400F, and line sheet pans with parchment. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. In a medium pot, bring water, butter, and salt and a boil. Add all flour at once, turning heat down to medium-low and begin to beat until mixture pulls away from sides and forms a ball.

3. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until cooled slightly. Turn speed up to high and add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Do not add the next egg until current egg is fully incorporated.

4. When dough comes together, around 10 minutes, transfer to piping bag. Pipe onto the parchment lined sheet pan, leaving space between each.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until outside is golden brown and the inside of the eclairs sound hollow. Cool completely before filling.

6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Place over a low heat whisking gently just until the mixture bubbles, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract or flavored liqueur. Press plastic wrap directly on the top of the cream and place in fridge to cool completely, approximately 2 hours.

7. To fill the eclairs, transfer the pastry creme to a piping bag, with a medium tip. Use the tip to break a small hole in the eclair, and fill.

8. To dip in chocolate, heat chocolate in a double boiler. Add the room temperature butter, a piece at a time, melting into the butter. Dip eclairs with mixture and allow to dry on a parchment lined sheet pan.

This recipe contributed by Carla Hall from The Chew

For a fun and beautiful presentation, if you are talented with icing or just want to give it a try, you can pipe little flowers on one end of the eclairs in colored frosting. These make a great birthday treat or for holidays like Valentines Day.

Give it a try and review here or on The Chew @ Carla Hall’s Chocolate & Hazelnut Eclairs