Cream puffs made easy and delicious

Hi everyone – thanks so much for reading my blog.  This is a new experience for me and I’m very excited about sharing some of my recipes with you.  I hope this will be an interaction between you and I and that you’ll give me feedback and new ideas.  I think that everyone can learn something from everyone.  Just to give you an example, I had been making a recipe the same way for years and was making sure to very carefully layer all the ingredients just so.  I turned to get the remaining ingredient and when I turned back, my then 8-year-old daughter was stirring it all together.  I thought it would have to be thrown out, but I cooked it anyway.  Well, it turned out better than ever and I’ve been making it that way ever since then.  Leave it to my wonderful daughter to come up with an easier way. 

You’ll find that I am very much about my family and friends and have been very blessed to have them in my life.  You’ll also find that I will share things about them with you from time to time.

Such is the case of a man I work with who we’ll call “Ben”.  Ben is a hard working man whose favorite dessert is cream puffs.  I made these at work one day and found out just how much Ben likes cream puffs.  For several weeks after I made the first batch, Ben’s request for more cream puffs led me to give him my recipe.  I hope you enjoy these as much as Ben.  They are extremely easy to make and very versatile.  You can use any type of filling you like and they’re fairly easy to do. 

You will need:

1 cup water

½ cup butter, cubed

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

In a large saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil.  Add flour ALL AT ONCE and stir until a smooth ball forms.  At this point, I thought I’d really messed up because it looked to me like I needed to start all over.  Just stick with it and keep stirring and before you know it, that “smooth” ball will appear in your saucepan just like it’s supposed to. 

Let this cool for about 5 minutes and relax with a good cup of coffee.  Ok – so your 5 minutes is up.  I put this mixture into a plastic bowl and add the eggs – but do it one at a time and beat with a mixer after each one.  Your mixture will be smooth and shiny.  Trust me on this, you don’t want to add all the eggs at one time.  I tried to save time and “ugh”!

You can make these any size you want, but you may have to adjust the cooking time.  I use an ice cream scoop (about 1/3 cup) and drop them 2” apart on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet (makes 10). 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.  You’ll be amazed at what happens.  The inside is hollow.  The eggs cause these to rise and fill with air.  All you need to do now is cool them on a rack and, when you’re ready, cut the top off and fill ‘em up.  If there happens to be any dough inside, you can pull that out. 

These can be made ahead of time and frozen if you want, but keep in mind that they won’t be as “crunchy” if they’re held over or frozen.  You can fill ‘em with just about anything –pudding, pastry cream, or even chicken salad.  One of my favorites since strawberries are in season is a strawberry cream cheese filling.

You will need:

3 cups of sliced strawberries

½ cup sugar, divided

16oz. cream cheese, softened

2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and ¼ cup of sugar until fluffy.  In another large bowl, beat cream and remaining sugar until stiff.  Fold in cream cheese and strawberries.  Mix well.  Chill until ready to serve.  Fill and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I hop you’ll try these and let me know if you like them as much as “Ben” does.  Well, time to do the dishes, so until next time, cook easy, but eat good!