Dulce de Leche Cream Puffs with Frangelico and Hazelnuts

These are heavenly! Crème pâtissière fills the crisp nutty puffs while Frangelico-spiked sauce is drizzled over top. This is a spectacular dessert that can be made way ahead.

Makes 12 medium puffs


1 cup (250 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
4 cold eggs
½ cup (125 mL) sliced or chopped hazelnuts

¾ cup (175 mL) dulce de leche, at room temperature
2¼ cups (550 mL) 18% cream
4 tbsp (60 mL) granulated sugar, divided
Pinch salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) Frangelico
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla

¾ cup (175 mL) dulce de leche, at room temperature
2 tbsp (25 mL) Frangelico
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla
¼ cup (50 mL) sliced or chopped hazelnuts (optional)


1. Arrange rack just below oven centre; preheat to 425ºF (220ºC).

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with baking spray. Heat water, butter, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until water is quite hot and butter melts. Add flour; stir frequently for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture easily forms a large ball. Turn ball into bowl of an electric mixer; break up by mixing briefly with the paddle. Cool 5 minutes; then beat in eggs, 1 at a time, on low to medium speed until well-mixed. Using a spatula, fold in the hazelnuts.

3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2-inches (5-cm) apart on prepared pan, making 12 mounds in all. Using wet hands, shape into 2-inch (5-cm) rounds; leave tops somewhat rough. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.

4. Reduce heat to 350ºF (180ºC).

5. Continue baking for 25 minutes or until deeply golden. Turn off oven and open door; cool puffs on oven rack for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Puffs can be made weeks ahead. (If making ahead, do not cut; freeze in a heavy plastic bag. To restore crispness, reheat from frozen at 350ºF/180ºC, uncovered, on a cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes or until puffs feel dry & crisp.)

6. To make filling, whisk dulce de leche while gradually adding cream until smooth. Stir in 2 tbsp (25 mL) sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) of sugar with flour; stir in egg yolks and Frangelico. When cream is quite hot to the touch, stir 3 tbsp (45 mL) into egg mixture to temper it.

7. Whisking briskly, pour egg mixture into hot cream in saucepan. Stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens, becomes glossy and whisk leaves a trail in the filling. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Turn into a metal bowl; press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Refrigerate immediately; use when cold. Mixture keeps well for 2 to 3 days.

8. To make sauce, stir dulce de leche in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in Frangelico, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Sauce can be made ahead; cover and refrigerate. Sauce becomes quite thick when cold so bring to room temperature or heat until barely warm.

9. To assemble puffs, horizontally cut each puff in half. Divide filling among pastries (about ¼ cup /50 mL per puff). Replace top. Serve drizzled with a spoonful of the sauce and scattered with hazelnuts.

You may also want to read How to Make Dulce de Leche