Cream Puffs

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Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. This, to a lot of people, means you can eat all the paczki’s you want! That donut-like pastry with cream filling. I didn’t make paczki but baked something I never have before. Cream puffs! I had a friend over to help and we had a lot of fun! The recipe is super easy but different than anything I’ve ever made. You make the dough in a pot over the stove, and heat it up with the flour before putting the eggs in. It’s strange but works! Once baked, they are light and fluffy and delicious.

This was my first attempt at cream puffs so next time I will do things differently. Maybe try a custard filling instead of a basic vanilla cream. Also, try a different topping, melted chocolate, instead of powdered sugar. But that’s what is great about baking! You can add different flavors as you see fit. Also, this time around, I didn’t have any piping bags but highly recommend using them over a ziplock bag. It was very difficult to inject, if that’s the right word, the cream filling. With a pastry bag, it will be easy peasy.

So, without further ado, put on those aprons and let’s go bake some cream puffs!

What you will need:

3 or 4 quart pot
Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Pastry bags (or gallon sized ziplock)

For the dough:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons powered sugar (for dusting)

For the cream filling:

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream (well chilled)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In the pot, combine butter, water and sugar. Over high heat, bring to a boil and then add the flour, stirring quickly until the dough comes together forming a ball. Remove from heat and stir until flour is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer or other medium sized bowl and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition until dough is smooth.

Cut off 1/2 inch of a corner of the pastry bag or ziplock bag and attach a large piping tip if you have one. Scoop the dough into the bag and pipe about 24 mounds of dough, 1 inch around onto your prepared baking sheet.

Note: I did not know the size of mounds we were supposed to make so I made them too big and only got 20 cream puffs. But you live and learn!

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Bake for 25 minutes, then with a toothpick, poke a couple holes in the sides of each puff. This allows the steam to escape and the cream puff can properly dry out and bake on the inside. Bake for 5-8 more minutes. They should be golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely while you make the filling.

To make the filling, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to a bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer. With the thick attachment (I just used a hand mixer for this), whip the cream on low speed until slightly thickened. Gradually increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form. Cut the corner of another pastry bag or ziplock bag and attach a filling tip if you have one. Inject each puff with cream! Or, you can cut each puff in half and spoon filling in that way, making little sandwiches.

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Sift powdered sugar over them and you are ready to enjoy! Here’s my sons hand after he took a big bite

Here’s me piping the cream puff dough!

And my friend with her super cool chefs hat 😉

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