Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheater Cream Puffs

As I talked about yesterday, I love desserts. Cream Puffs are up at the top of the list. I used to beg my Grandmother to make these for me, and when I was a kid I was sure they were so hard to make. Once I headed off to college, I asked for the recipe from her, and I found out that they were really not all that hard to make. I did not think about blogging this recipe until after they were in the oven, so there are not many pictures of the early steps. I apologize for that. Hopefully from descriptions alone I can walk you through the process. Why do I call these cheater cream puffs? Well they are filled with instant pudding, so no need to be a custard making master for this recipe. They are fast to make and easy too. It makes for a quick midweek dessert. So, without further ado, here is the recipe for cheater cream puffs!


~ 1/4 cup butter
~ 1/2 cup water
~ 1/2 cup flour
~ 2 eggs at room temperature (this is important)
~ Your favorite cook and serve pudding. I usually use vanilla. I think it turns out best
~ Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Let the eggs sit until they reach room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the water in a saucepan until boiling. Add the butter, reduce the heat to low, and melt the butter. Add the flour and mix until it is fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate them. The dough should be really thick and putty or pasty like. It will also be a lemony color. Place the dough by the spoonful on a parchment lined cookie sheet. The dough should make six full sized cream puffs. Make sure to pat down any tall peaks in the dough. I am not sure if you can make mini cream puffs with this seeing as I have never tried. If you do try it, let me know what you find out about the cooking times. Bake the cream puffs in the 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 25 minutes. When they are done they should look like this:

While the cream puff shells are baking, make your favorite filling. I typically use Jello brand vanilla cook and serve pudding. Once I cook it, I make sure to pour it into a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap so the skin does not form on the pudding. While I love pudding skins, I need all the pudding that little box provides for the filling for these shells. Make sure to cool the pudding completely. When you are ready to serve them, slice them in half with a serrated knife. The interior should be rather hollow. If it is not, you can just push the middle out to make it hold more of the filling. Fill with pudding. If you like a chocolate top like I do, melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and spread on the top of the cream puff. Simple and easy! Make sure that you do not fill the puffs until right before you want to eat them otherwise they will get soggy and not be pleasant to eat. You can keep uneaten shells in a plastic bag for a few days before they get stale, but I am sure they will be gone well before then!

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