Is there anybody in this world that isn’t completely obsessed with cream puffs? Maybe people who don’t like rainbows and unicorns and happiness. Maybe those people don’t like cream puffs. But otherwise, I think we are pretty universally all in love with these delectable little pastries and their creamy fillings and their chocolate-y tops.
You could, of course, fill these with chicken salad or… something. But for here and now, we are making cream-filled, chocolate drizzled, DESSERT cream puffs! Because it’s all about the dessert over here, after all…
Honestly, I was really skeptical that making cream puffs would be a simple process. I kept finding these recipes titled “Easy Cream Puffs,” but reading through each recipe just left me thinking…. yeah, right! I mean… anything that involves a stove top, then a mixer, then baking the the oven– that’s just too many steps in my book.
But…… I really wanted to make cream puffs. Well, let’s be honest: I really wanted to EAT cream puffs.
And guess what? They really aren’t very hard to make at all! Cross my heart, and stick a needle in my eye. Not a big deal at all. Here’s the basic run-down (remember, it’s not as scary as it sounds):
You bring butter and flour to a rolling boil over the stove. Add the flour, and then mix it into a ball. That sounds weird, but it works. Promise.
Next, you transfer the dough ball over to your stand mixer (you could do this without a stand mixer, but it’s a million times easier with the mixer), and beat eggs into the dough.
From there, all you have to do is scoop out the dough, just like you would cookies, on to a baking sheet. Bake, and voila! You can fill these with just about anything you want, but I’m providing a recipe below for a yummy (and easy) vanilla cream filling that tastes great with a little chocolate on top.
Don’t be like me and read through the recipe and just think: not happening. Because these are really not all that complicated to make and, seriously, there is nothing in the whole world quite like homemade cream puffs. The kind you can buy at the grocery store just does not compare!
You are going to be all kinds of crazy in love with this recipe!
Note: I made mini bite-sized cream puffs, and this recipe yielded 60. My grandma always makes BIG cream puffs (using about a 1/4 cup scoop), and you can totally do that with this recipe too. Just increase the baking time by about 10 minutes– but watch them carefully to prevent burning.
For the Cream Puffs:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
For the Filling:
- 1 ounce package sugar free fat free vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- melted chocolate for drizzling on top
- powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Melt the butter in the water over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a rolling boil.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the flour. Stir vigorously until mixture turns into a ball.
Transfer ball to a stand mixer. Add the eggs all at once and mix just until a smooth batter forms.
Scoop the batter out by heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffs are slightly golden on top.
Cool on wire rack.
For the filling:
Whisk together the pudding mix and the milk until smooth. Allow to thicken for about 3 minutes before folding in the Cool Whip.
When cream puffs have cooled, cut each one in half and pipe on about a tablespoon of the cream filling on the bottom half.* Sandwich the top half of the puff on top of the filling.
Drizzle melted chocolate over top and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Keep chilled and covered or in an airtight container before serving and for storage (for up to 2 days).
*If you can give the filling time to firm up a bit in the fridge (for a few hours or overnight), it will hold up better in the puff. You can even use a star tip to pipe the filling if it has chilled for a while.