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How to make, and eat, a cream puff
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Hello, I am Tracy Dammen your 2009-2010 Argyle Dairy Queen. As you all know, it's fair season, which means ... cream puffs!

The only thing I knew about a cream puff prior to becoming Argyle's Dairy Queen is they taste great! I have since learned there are a few tricks to making a cream puff and a "correct" way to eat them.

Since my knowledge of cream puffs is limited to consumption, I turned to Bonnie Gerner of the Green County Ag Chest. Bonnie, with the assistance of many people over the years, has made more cream puffs than she even wants to try to count.

A cream puff is a crisp, hollow pastry that is split in half and filled with whipped cream. It is important to have a hollow pastry, so you have room for a lot of cream. The pastry is pumped with a pastry gun and baked at a high temperature. The air from the pastry gun and high temperature are needed so the dough will rise quickly and leave a hollow center. If the center does not rise and hollow out, the pastry will deflate when cooled.

The Green County Fair generally sells about 1,700 cream puffs. While events like the Dairy Expo require approximately 2,500. With 88 cream puffs per batch baked at 425 degree for 40 minutes, it takes a lot of time and dedicated workers to complete the baking process. The biggest cream puff baking day ever generated 4,200 cream puffs. They were baked from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., keeping the Albany Lion's Club ovens and the Green County Ag Chest trailer ovens full all the time. Pastries are baked just prior to the event and many are baked right at the event in the trailer.

Getting the puff perfect is only step one. Real dairy whipping cream is beat with sugar to make the ideal filling for this light pastry. A dusting of powdered sugar is the final touch to your tasty treat.

Did you know there is a correct way to eat a cream puff? You must twist it apart like an Oreo and eat one half at a time. This makes them easier to eat.

When you are walking down the midway at the Green County Fair trying to decide which treat to splurge on, visit the Green County Ag Chest Trailer and experience a cream puff, say hello to the area dairy queens and help support the dairy industry. Not only will you find this to be a very tasty treat, it also is nutritious. Cream contains vitamin A, riboflavin (B2) and calcium, which are important in our daily diets.

We look forward to seeing you at the Green County Fair.

"The lack of calcium in the American diet - which can lead to osteoporosis and other health problems is now a public health priority. With 28 million Americans afflicted with osteoporosis and $13.8 billion dollars in associated health cost, it's time to count your calcium." - Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

- Tracy Dammen is the 2009-2010 Argyle Dairy Queen