What’s better than indulging in delicious Disney snacks? Recreating them at home! One of my absolute favorites is the Cheshire Cat Tails from the Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe in Fantasyland. These delectable treats are made with puff pastry, filled with vanilla pastry cream and mini chocolate chips, and topped with pink and purple icing. While we may not be able to visit the parks right now, we can still savor the magic by making these delightful Cheshire Cat Tails in the comfort of our own kitchens.
To embark on this delightful culinary adventure, let’s start by making the vanilla pastry cream. This creamy goodness requires some cooling time, so it’s best to prepare it in advance. Begin by placing a fine mesh sieve in a heat-safe bowl and setting it aside. In a small saucepan, pour the milk and split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape the seeds into the milk using the tip of a sharp knife, add a pinch of salt, and bring the mixture to just under a boil while stirring occasionally.
While the milk is heating up, mix cornstarch and sugar in a medium bowl. Add an egg and whisk until smooth. Once the milk is ready, ladle one-third of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the hot milk, continuing to whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to bring it to a boil; slow bubbles should begin forming.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it through the mesh sieve into the heat-safe bowl. Allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream reaches a temperature of about 140°F. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and gradually mix them into the cream, stirring until smooth.
Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the surface, and place it in the refrigerator to cool to room temperature.
Now, let’s move on to the star ingredient: puff pastry. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a sheet of defrosted puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a length of approximately 10 x 12 inches.
Position the puff pastry so that one of the longer sides of the rectangle is closest to you. With the help of an offset spatula, spread a quarter cup of the pastry cream on one-half of the rolled-out puff pastry, starting from the middle and moving towards the shorter end. Sprinkle a quarter cup of mini chocolate chips on top of the pastry cream.
Fold the puff pastry in half, covering the pastry cream and chocolate chips. Gently press the dough to secure the two sides together. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into six strips, ensuring that each strip includes part of the folded edge.
Take each strip of pastry and twist it twice, allowing some of the cream and chocolate chips to be visible. Place the twists on the prepared baking sheet. For an extra chocolatey touch, press some mini chocolate chips into the exposed pastry cream.
Brush each pastry twist with an egg wash and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the twists are puffed and golden. Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the twists are cooling, let’s prepare the colorful icing that adds the final touch. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and two tablespoons of milk, whisking until smooth. Aim for a slightly thick consistency that can still be drizzled. If needed, add more milk to achieve the desired texture.
Separate the icing into two bowls and stir a few drops of pink food coloring into one bowl and a few drops of purple food coloring into the other. I recommend using a combination of Americolor gel food coloring for vibrant hues.
Using a spoon, drizzle the colored icings over the cooled pastry twists, crisscrossing the colors to mimic the whimsical patterns of the Cheshire Cat’s tail.
And voila! Your homemade Cheshire Cat Tails are ready to be enjoyed. These delightful treats are perfect for a cozy movie night or a Disney-themed gathering. So why not bring a touch of Disney magic into your kitchen today?
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Now, sit back, relax, and savor the enchantment of homemade Cheshire Cat Tails!