Friday, August 14, 2009

Cream Puffs

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.

ream Pufffs
From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
Pictures by Kelly

Makes 12

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. 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.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
  4. Drop dough by 12 heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Let cool.
  5. 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.
Vanilla Pudding*
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
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Add egg mixture to milk mixture in saucepan. Bring to a gently boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  4. 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.
  5. Chill 3-4 hours.
*This makes plenty of pudding for 1 batch of cream puffs. I usually only use half of it.


Kristi said...

Oh-so-good. SO very very good!

Lara said...

Ooooh, homemade cream puffs. Yum! I haven't made these in years.

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