Pumpkin-Filled Cream Puffs with Maple-Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe Pumpkin Mousse
1 recipe Maple-Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup candied pecans
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
2. Drop 8 heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack and let cool.
3. Using a serrated knife, cut each cream puff in half horizontally; remove soft dough from inside. Fill cream puffs with Pumpkin Mousse. Replace tops. Spoon some of the warm Maple-Caramel Sauce onto eight dessert plates; sprinkle with some of the toasted pecans. Place a filled cream puff on top of the sauce on each plate. Drizzle each cream puff with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Makes 8 servings.
Pumpkin Mousse: In a chilled large mixing bowl beat 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with the chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until medium peaks form (tips curl). Fold in 1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours.
Maple-Caramel Sauce: In a small heavy saucepan stir together 1 cup packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half or light cream, 1/2 cup water, 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly (mixture may appear curdled before it bubbles). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Serve warm.
Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through Step 2. Layer cream puffs between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover and chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.