I hope everyone is having a great winter so far! During my “down-time” I’ve been binging one of my favorite TV programs, The Great British Baking Show. Needless to say, all of the fancy, decadent pieces that the bakers create have inspired me to “up my game” in the kitchen, too.
So today I wanted to share with you one of my own creations: a Peanut Butter Cup Eclair recipe. Perhaps resulting from their popularity in patisseries across the globe, eclairs are a dessert that emanates charm and finesse. However, this does not mean that it takes a seasoned chef to create these tasty treats.
Rather, anyone who can read a recipe (or watch a video!) can whip up a batch of these eclairs. Yes, even you!
You’ll just LOVE the decadent peanut butter ganache, the soft chocolate creme patisserie, and the flaky choux pastry shell – oh my, now I’m drooling! Don’t shy away from this recipe if you are unfamiliar with those terms – trust me, they are fancy, complicated words for simple, everyday dessert elements that you often enjoy!
So gather up your ingredients, peruse the instructions and video below, and then meet me in the kitchen! I’ve even included a printable recipe card and Pinterest-ready images towards the end of the post; this peanut butter cup eclair recipe is one you’ll definitely want to keep!
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Peanut Butter Cup Eclair – Ingredients List
Choux Pastry – “The Eclair Case”
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- .5 cup cubed butter
- .25 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
Chocolate Creme Patisserie – Also Known As “Pastry Cream”
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 full egg
- .5 cup sugar
- 2.5 tbsp cornstarch (you can find it here if not in your local grocer!)
- .25 tsp salt
- 5 oz finely chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. It’s important to use high-quality chocolate, like Baker’s.
- 3 tbsp soft/room temperature butter
Peanut Butter Ganache – Rich and Thick Eclair “Topping”
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1/2 lb finely chopped bittersweet chocolate; I used the same chocolate bars for the ganache and pastry cream (you can find it here).
For Decorating – “The Finishing Touches”
- Reese’s Pieces Unwrapped Mini Cups or Miniatures
- Dry Roasted, Salted Peanuts – yes, salted does make a difference!
- Spray bottle
- Whisk and wooden spoon
- Cooling rack – I use these ones!
- Cutting board
- Sharp chef’s or serrated knife – I cannot perform in the kitchen without my Cutco Chef’s knife, a gift from my in-laws a few years back! Here’s one that’s more economical and gets PHENOMENAL reviews!
- Piping bag, along with a large star, thin round, and plain (about 1/2 inch) tips, all of which can be found in this handy piping set.
- Stand mixer; I bought a 5-quart Kitchenaid Stand Mixer a few months back and it is literally my baby – HAHA! You’ll also need to use the whisk attachment, usually included with the mixer.
Peanut Butter Cup Eclair – Method
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary ingredients, let’s get baking! For more clarification on any of the steps in this recipe, scroll down to watch my video tutorial!
The first step in making your peanut butter cup eclairs is to prepare a choux pastry shell.
To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and mist lightly with a nonstick cooking spray. Mix the salt into the flour, and set aside.
Next, combine the butter and water in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, dump in the flour/salt combination, remove from heat, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it combines into a paste.
Once the “paste” is smooth, put the pan back on the heat and continue stirring until the dough forms into a ball shape and pulls away from the edges of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat once more, and set it aside for just a minute or so to cool slightly. Then, add in the eggs, one by one, mixing after each addition until all are combined and the dough is glossy and smooth.
TIP: Just before piping the dough, mist the baking sheet with a bit of water. This little trick creates extra moisture to evaporate during baking, which helps the pastry to puff up.
Finally, put the dough in a piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2 inch tip, and pipe 3-4 inch lengths of dough. Be sure to space them out a few inches, as they will expand in the oven!
Then, bake the eclairs for ten minutes. When the timer is finished, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for about 20 minutes more, or until golden brown.
CAUTION: Though it may be tempting, do NOT open the oven to check on the eclairs throughout the baking duration, or else you risk the moisture escaping, resulting in flat, deflated eclair cases.
After the 30 minutes, has elapsed, remove the eclairs from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
STORAGE: The eclair shells can keep for two days at room temperature in an air-tight container. However, be sure to poke two holes in the bottom of each shell before storing them; if you don’t, the residual moisture can make the shell damp and chewy.
The second component to assemble is the chocolate creme patisserie (a sweet, delicate pastry cream) that will fill the inside of each eclair!
Before beginning to cook the cream, be sure to gather your ingredients together on the counter and chop the chocolate. Starting at one corner of the bar, use a back-and-forth sawing motion to shave off thin shards of chocolate, perfect for easy melting later on. Rotate the knife around the bar from corner to corner until you have finished.
TIP: A good chef’s knife (like this one) or serrated knife will make the job of creating small shards of chocolate a dream!
Now that your cream patisserie ingredients are prepared, let’s get started! First, combine the milk, cream, and vanilla in a saucepan and set it over medium heat. While you are waiting on that, in a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, egg, yolks, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt.
As soon as the milk begins to steam and bubble around the edges of the pan, remove it from the heat, and pour half into the egg mixture, whisking it constantly. Once this initial amount is thoroughly mixed, slowly continue to add small amounts of the remaining milk/cream until everything is completely combined.
CAUTION: This is a process called tempering; if you were to add the hot milk to the eggs too quickly or all at once, the eggs would actually cook and create scrambled-egg lumps in your chocolate cream. To prevent this from occurring, remember to remove the milk from the heat as soon as it begins to steam, and constantly mix the cream.
Next, pour the tempered cream mixture back into your saucepan, and heat it over medium heat. The eggs can still become lumpy at this point, so be sure to whisk continually and vigorously.
After two minutes or so, the cream should begin to bubble. At this point, dump in your chocolate shavings and whisk to melt. Once the chocolate is mostly dissolved, remove the pan from the heat once again. Then, add the butter to your cream, and continue whisking until it has melted and combined.
Finally, pour the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with clingwrap. Be sure to touch the surface of the cream with the clingwrap to avoid a hard film from forming on top. Let it cool to room temperature first, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To fill your eclairs with pastry cream . . .
. . . first, fit a piping bag with a thin, plain piping tip. Then, fill the bag with your pastry cream and secure the end of the bag with a rubber band or clip.
Next, using a toothpick or skewer, poke two holes in the underside of each eclair case; you want one hole towards each end of the pastry. Don’t push all the way through the top; otherwise, your pastry cream will leak out instead of filling into the center!
Finally, insert the piping tip into one hole of the pastry case, angling the tip towards the center of the eclair; apply firm pressure to the bag to fill your eclair with delicious pastry cream! Then, rotate the eclair and repeat the process on the other side, to ensure that the entire hollow area is filled evenly.
TIP: While piping the pastry cream, set the eclair case in your palm and gently grip the sides with your fingers; this way, you will be able to feel a slight pressure and increase of weight, both indicators that the eclair is filled to capacity!
Now is time to prepare the final component: Peanut Butter Ganache! This recipe creates a rich, thick “frosting” to perfectly compliment the light pastry cream and shell.
To begin, chop the chocolate once again into small shavings and place them within a bowl. Measure the milk into a saucepan and place it over medium-high heat.
As soon as bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, dump the milk into the bowl of chocolate shavings. Let the hot liquid melt the chocolate for about 45 seconds, and then begin to stir with a spatula to finish the process.
TIP: Don’t touch the ganache during the 45 seconds of melting. Once that time has elapsed, start stirring slowly from the center outwards until everything is smooth and combined.
When the chocolate is fully incorporated, your ganache is nearly completed. The final step is to mix in the peanut butter and regular butter to give our ganache a smooth, peanutty finish. At this point, the mixture will still be warm enough from the scalded milk to nicely melt both kinds of butter.
You can pop the bowl of ganache in the fridge to cool until you’re ready to frost the eclairs; however, if chilled any longer than five minutes, be sure to let it come to room temperature again.
Simply use your spatula to cover the top of each eclair with a hearty helping of ganache – this is essentially where our peanut butter flavor comes in, so don’t skimp!
Finally, have fun decorating with some tasty garnishes!
To take your eclairs to the next level, pop the remaining ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium-high for a few minutes. This will incorporate some air into the ganache and give us a slightly lighter, whipped consistency for piping on top.
Fit a pastry bag with any decorative tip you’d like (I used a large star) and get creative piping on the whipped ganache! I swirled the tip along the eclair in one continuous motion; feel free to make little rosettes, stars, dollops, waves, or any other fun design you’d like to try!
Then, top each eclair with some mini peanut butter cups and salted peanuts; this element is THE PERFECT finishing touch – I love the crunchy, salty juxtaposition against the rich, creamy, and soft eclair components.
Peanut Butter Cup Eclair – Video Tutorial
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this clip! I show step-by-step how I created these peanut butter cup eclairs – and, how you can, too!
Thanks for baking along with me today! Just take a peek at how beautifully these eclairs turned out!
Plus, I can assure you: they taste even better than they look! The decadent peanut butter ganache, the soft chocolate creme pate, and the flaky choux pastry shell – major dessert win!
Leave me a comment below with any questions on this peanut butter cup eclair recipe, or with any thoughts you had while baking it yourself! I’d LOVE to hear how you like it!
Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch, and be sure to tag me in any photos you post of your peanut butter cup eclairs! I love to see your works of culinary art.
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Take care guys! Until next time…
Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin the image below to save this recipe for later or show it to your friends. After all, sharing is caring. 😉