My mom frequently made these cream puffs for get togethers while I was growing up. They were always a favorite with their combination of airy pastry and creamy filling.
Though they look fancy they are very easy to make. Using a shortcut for the pastry cream really reduces the prep time, so it’s a perfect addition to a dessert buffet or any time there’s a lot of other baking to do.
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To help ensure perfect cream puffs, here are a few pointers.
- Begin whisking immediately after you add the hot flour mixture to the bowl with the eggs to avoid cooked egg pieces in your puffs. Keep whisking until the mixture is very smooth – it will take a minute.
- Do not open the oven door to check on the cream puffs until they have been in the oven at least 30 minutes. Use the oven light instead if you need to.
- A sharp bread knife with fine serrations cuts the delicate pastry in half without squishing it.
- To get a pretty chocolate drizzle, I think using a squeeze bottle is by far the easiest method.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
- Preheat oven to 400◦. Lightly grease a 12 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl.
- Bring water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and salt; continue cooking and stirring until the mixture forms a stiff ball.
- Add flour mixture to eggs and whisk quickly and vigorously until completely incorporated and smooth.
- Drop batter by large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup) onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Do not open the oven during the first 30 minutes of baking!
- Transfer cream puffs to wire racks and cool completely.
- Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, using 2 cups milk.
- Using an electic mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Blend in pudding.
- Carefully cut cream puffs in half. Spoon pudding mixture over bottoms then cover with tops.
- Melt chocolate with remaining 2 tablespoons milk in a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Drizzle melted chocolate over cream puffs.