The Magic of Cream Puffs
In our family, we have had some lofty goals as far as what we wanted to be when we grew up. My sister wanted to be an Avon lady, and my daughter wanted to be a pink kitty. When I was young, I set my sights on being a magician. The reason I wanted to be a magician was because I couldn’t stand it that I didn’t know how they did their tricks. I figured if I became one of them, I would find out how they sawed people in half, pulled rabbits out of people’s ears, etc. I never quite reached my goal until this week. Making these cream puffs made me feel like a magician! You place this blob of dough onto a baking sheet, and 25 minutes later, you have a beautiful pastry that is hollow inside, just waiting to be filled with all kinds of yummy things. And thanks to Google, you can also find out why this works (it has to do with the liquid vaporizing and the steam stretching the dough before it solidifies). The amazing part is that they are so simple, so easy, and so quick to make. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now to make them!
My grandma used to make cream puffs. My mom has my grandma’s recipe, and she and I have talked about trying to make them for years, but for some reason we got the impression that they were really difficult, so we never did. Then I saw a recipe for cream puffs on Whisked Away, and Jamie talked about how easy it was. I thought it must be a different recipe, but her post gave me courage to try it. I am so glad I did. I had them made and in the oven in 10 minutes. It wasn’t difficult at all. And then I looked at my grandma’s recipe, and it was almost the exact same one. So I’m not sure why we were under the impression they were hard. I have made them twice now, and they turned out both times. You don’t even need a mixer. All you have to do is boil water and butter together, and whisk in flour, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. It turns into a big gloopy mess, but that is normal. I couldn’t believe that this was going to turn into cream puffs!
After that, scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, and abracadabra, you have tiny little hot air balloons,
just waiting to be filled!
I kept thinking of all kinds of things that would be good as filling, but this time I just used sweetened whipped cream.
They were so good! You can also drizzle chocolate ganache over the top if you want to make them even more decadent.
Either way, you are absolutely going to love these. Bake them for your family, or friends, and prepare for them to be amazed! We’ll just keep it between us how easy they are to make. After all, we magicians can’t give away our secrets! 🙂
For the Cream Puffs:
- 1/2 c butter (1 stick)
- 1 c water
- 1 c flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat water and butter until it begins to boil.
- Without removing from the heat, gradually add flour and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in sugar and vanilla.
- Add eggs in one at a time, whisking well after each egg before adding the next.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a 1 or 2 Tbsp. scoop, depending on the size puffs you want, to scoop out a ball of dough and place at least one inch apart.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on size of scoops, until puffed and lightly browned.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and split along the side to release any moisture.
- When they are completely cooled, cut off the top third of the cream puff.
- Fill with sweetened whipped cream.
- Place top back on, and drizzle with cooled ganache, if desired.
For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
- 1 quart whipping cream
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Place wire attachment on stand mixer.
- Pour whipping cream into bowl of stand mixer (to make it whip up faster, chill bowl ahead of time). Whip at high-speed until cream is thick and holds peaks.
- Add sugar and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
- Use a piping bag or spoon to fill cream puffs.
For the Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:
- 12 oz. chocolate chips (use good quality, Ghiradelli recommended)
- 1 c whipping cream
- Place chocolate chips in heat proof bowl.
- Heat whipping cream in medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly until very hot, and at boiling point.
- Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit 10 minutes.
- Stir until mixed and glossy.
- Let cool and then place in a piping bag or baggy, and drizzle over cream puffs.
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally found on Whisked Away