You know the little frozen cream puffs you can buy from Costco, Sam's Club or BJs? These are so much better.
Every time I visit my family in New York, I make these for my uncle. Being from a traditional German family, we don't really express our emotions aloud very often, but cream puffs have bridged that barrier. They've become our way of sharing a bit of affection without actually having to say anything.
Cream puffs aren't actually that difficult to make, and 99% of you probably have all the ingredients you need already in your cupboards. The hardest part is making the filling; I usually make my own vanilla pudding, but that can be time consuming and tricky- it's really easy to burn the milk. Use instant Jello pudding or vanilla ice cream as an easier substitute.
From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
Pictures by Kelly
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir til mixture forms a ball (mine is always more like a blog than a ball). Remove from heat. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
- Drop dough by 12 heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Let cool.
- Cut tops from puffs; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with whipped cream, pudding or ice cream. Replace tops. If desired, sift powdered sugar or drizzle chocolate over tops.
from Better Homes and Gardens
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in 3 cups of milk. Cook and stir over medium heat til bubbly (this may take 15 minutes or so- you don't want to turn the heat up too high or you could burn the milk). Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Gradually stir in 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs (doing this gradually will slowly increase the temperature of the eggs and prevent them from becoming scrambled).
- Add egg mixture to milk mixture in saucepan. Bring to a gently boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding. This will prevent a "skin" from forming on the top of the pudding.
- Chill 3-4 hours.
*This makes plenty of pudding for 1 batch of cream puffs. I usually only use half of it.