In the mood for something sweet, but not to sweet? This is a treat you need to try! I promise it will not disappoint.
We are going camping next week and I like to take along some homemade goodies for us; today was a windy day so we were stuck in the house. So, I thought I will make us some cream puffs! These delicious puffs can be made and frozen until you need them and take little time to defrost. I am sure you have seen them at your local grocery store in the frozen desert section, or in the bakery made fresh but as with anything homemade ones are just more enjoyable!
Cream puffs are an “old fashion” favourite in my family! When they are made, it is a race to the last one!
Cream puffs are this incredibly soft puffy cake like pastry that are super fluffy and have a very soft interior filled with whipped cream! These are perfect for the one who does not like over sweet deserts but yet likes desert.
You can use any type of whipping cream you prefer for inside. Miracle Whip or Dream Whip work great, as does a full fat cream. My preferred method is 35% heavy cream, I like that I can sweeten to my liking.
You can add fruit or chocolate drizzle if you like, or just have with the whip cream – it doesn’t really matter they taste great regardless!
First things first, you must boil your butter and water, until it is at a rapid boil. Then add in your flour and mix well, until it is incorporated – it will start to form ball and pull away from the edges of the pot. Once that happens remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
While that is cooling, you can get your oven preheating and grease your baking sheet – I suggest using golden shorten to grease your pan with, not oil as oil will cause them to burn – you do not need a lot, I normally take a paper towel fold it up and scoop about 1 tablespoon and spread evenly all over my pan until it is evenly covered.
Once your butter, flour and water mixture has cooled slightly – move it into a mixing bowl. I use my stand mixer but you can use a hand mixer or mix by hand. If you used salted butter do not add salt, if you didn’t now is when you add your salt and vanilla extract. You then want to add one egg at a time, and mix well for each one, your mixture will become stiffer and stiffer almost like a very thick cake batter.
You then take two tablespoons and scoop 15 equal parts onto you cookie sheet. Leaving about 1 inch or more gap between each one as these do expand while cooking. They do not have to look perfect, as cream puffs never look the exact same and are slightly different in shape, so don’t worry if they do not all look similar – it is not an issue – really!
While they are in the oven it is important NOT TO OPEN THE OVEN!!!! You will end up with failed cream puffs if you do, so resist the temptation and set the timer and go do something… :)They fill with steam while cooking and releasing the heat from the oven will cause them to flop. They take about 35-38 minutes in the oven so set the oven for 32 minutes and check them, once they turn golden brown then you are clear to open the oven door, but try and wait until they have baked fully. You want them to be a light/medium golden brown, not to dark or you will get a dry puff.
They should look like these below…
Once they are out of the oven and start to cool they will flatten slightly – that is just the steam releasing from inside and that is okay.
These will cool in no time, so while they are baking, is a good time to whip up you whip cream for the inside. I start with a chilled bowl and I use my stand mixer on high with the whisk attachment but if you have a hand mixer that works just as well. This is where you can adjust your sweetness to your liking. If you like a bit sweeter you can always add more or less sugar to your cream. I normally add about a tablespoon of sugar to 2 cups of cream and find it is a nice balance between sweet but not over sweet. I normally place it into the fridge after I whip it to cool it again before I put into the puffs. But the cream can be put directly into he puffs if you are short on time.
Filling with cream is easy and can be done which ever is easiest for you. I normally will just gently tear a small opening and scoop whip cream with a spoon if we are eating right away. Today I poked a small hole in the puff, then piped in the whip cream. I will be freezing these ones to take on our trip and I didn’t want to make a mess with whip cream all over. Another great way to make these is cutting the puff in half and making a sandwich with whip cream on the inside. Adding some fresh berries with the sandwich method is a sweet treat.
I like to drizzle some melted chocolate on top once they have the whip cream added, but you can omit this part if you chose.
In an air tight container these will stay in the freezer for a couple of months or can can be kept in the fridge for a few days. To extend the fridge life you can leave out the cream until you want to eat them and they will last up to a week.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Bake Time: 35-38 Minutes Yields: 15 Puffs
Cream Puff Ingredients: (Step 1)
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 4 Eggs
- 1/3 Teaspoon Vanilla
- Shortening for greasing baking sheet
Whip Cream Filling Ingredients: (Step 2)
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar (more if you like sweeter)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients: (Step 3 – optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Chocolate Chips
- 1/3 Teaspoon Butter
What to do:
Cream Puff Directions: (Step 1)
- Pre heat your oven to 350*F.
- In a heavy bottom pot, combine butter and water – bring to a rapid boil.
- Once boiling, add flour and salt – stir until combined and a ball starts to form with the dough, once throughly combined set aside to cool 2-3 minutes.
- While your mixture is cooling, grease your baking sheet with shortening, make certain it is an even coat.
- Move cooled mixture into a mixing bowl, add vanilla and one egg at a time until well combined. Once all eggs have been combined mix well until your dough becomes stiff (almost like a thick cake batter)
- Take 2 tablespoons and scoop onto baking sheet, making 15 even puffs – don’t worry if they are not perfect looking. Be sure to leave some room in between each one as they will fluff up while baking.
- Place in oven on bottom rack – bake for 35-38 minutes until golden brown.
Whip Cream Directions: (Step 2)
- Chill bowl and whisk attachment.
- On high speed, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks appear.
- Once cream puffs have cooled, gently make a hole in the puff and fill with whipped cream. You can also use a piping bag, insert into the puff and squeeze into the hole. Or try cutting the puff in half and making a sandwich with the whip cream!
Chocolate Drizzle Directions: (Step 3 – optional)
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in 10 second intervals stirring each time until well melted.
- Pour into a piping bag or sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner and drizzle onto your puffs.