Cream Puffs – How to keep the puff!

For years and years and years,

I’ve been making Cream Puffs.

For years and years and years,

they bake and rise beautifully . . . and then deflate.

Not any more . . . I say!

Cream Puffs really are very simple to make.

They are even easier to eat.

It’s all in the slit or the poke, and a bit of dry time.

See that little slit on the puff . . . in the far right corner?

That makes all the difference between “Once Beautiful” and “Still Beautiful!”

After they have finished baking, turn your oven off and  take the puffs out of the oven.

Give them a poke or a little slit with a sharp paring knife.

(This lets the steam escape)

Return them to the oven (turned off) and crack the oven door with a wooden spoon.

Let the puffs sit there and bask in their beauty for about 15 to 30 minutes.

You want them dry and cool in the oven.

You can fill them with this wonderfully delicious cream.

We love this stuff . . . it’s seriously good.

It also make yummy fruit dip for apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, etc.

I like to freeze some of the Cream Puff shells, and let them unthaw as we need them.

Below is a delicious Hot Fudge Recipe

or

You can even buy a bottle of Hot Fudge.

You’ll never have to buy Cream Puffs in a bakery again!

 

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PERFECT CREAM PUFFS

recipe adapted from: whatscookingamerica.net

Yields: 2 dozen medium cream puffs
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:

1 cup water

3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup bread flour

*
3 large eggs + 1 egg white, beaten together with a fork

Fillings (see below for ideas)

* Bread flour is a high-protein flour. The high protein gives you more gluten and structure and helps the cream puffs rise. All-purpose flour may be substituted but the results won’t be as spectacular.

** The egg whites help the cream puffs to be more dry.


Preparation:

Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Either line a baking sheet with parchment paper or with the non-stick baking mat. NOTE: Do not grease baking sheet, as the grease will cause the dough to flatten. Cut up butter into small pieces.

In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water and butter; bring mixture to a full rolling boil (make sure the butter has all melted).

Remove pan from the heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended. NOTE: The flour absorbs the liquid rapidly, and must be mixed thoroughly until there are no lumps left. Reduce heat to medium; return pan to heat and continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of a mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until the dough has cooled slightly. It should be about 140 degrees F. (use your digital thermometer to test the dough).

In a small bowl, add eggs and egg whites; Whisk until mixed together. At medium speed, beat the eggs/egg whites in a little at a time. Add no more than a quarter of the eggs at once; wait until eggs are completely absorbed before adding more (at first the eggs will act like they don’t want to mix in, but they will). When all the eggs are absorbed, the dough is ready to use. The dough should be soft and a little sticky, but be able to hold its shape.

Using two teaspoons: With one spoon, scoop up about 2 tablespoons batter for a large puff, 1 tablespoons for a medium-size puff, or 1 1/2 teaspoons for a cocktail-size puff. With other spoon, push batter off first spoon and drop in a mound onto prepared baking sheet. Place mounds about 2 inches apart.

Using plastic bag: Place dough into bag. Cut the end off one corner with scissors, to make an opening about 1/4 inch. Squeeze the mixture onto the pans.

Using pastry bag: Put a 1/4-inch star tip into your pastry bag. Fill the bag with the dough. Squeeze the dough out in a circle motion to create small silver dollar-sized circles.

NOTE: to smooth out any parts that stick up when you squeeze out the dough, just wet your finger in water or milk and smooth out. You can also glaze the puffs with a beaten egg wash to give it a shine. In this case use a pastry brush to smooth out the top as you glaze it.

Bake time varies depending on how big your blobs are. For 2-inch puffs, bake for a total of about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through (switch pans so the top one is on the bottom rack and vice versa). At 1 minutes into the baking, lower heat to 375 degrees F. and continue baking until golden brown. Approximately 5 to 10 minutes longer for the small puffs, and 15 to 20 minutes longer for large puffs.

Remove from the oven and immediately prick or place a small slit on the lower side of each puff with the tips of a sharp knife. Turn off oven and return puffs to the oven. Leave the door open slightly and allow the puffs to dry out for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and oven and let puffs cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack before filling.

For best results, use puffs with 24 hours, or wrap airtight and freeze.

Unfilled puffs may be stored in an airtight container for several days, but first cut them open and remove the strands of dough to prevent sogginess.

To freeze unfilled cream puffs, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or resealable plastic bags. Do not cut cream puffs open or remove the strands of dough before freezing. Thaw at room temperature.

Add the filling (of your choice) just prior to serving, otherwise the puffs will become soggy. Cream puffs may be filled with your favorite pudding, whipped cream, ice cream, or fruit.

When ready to fill, with a serrated knife, cut upper third from each puff and gently scoop out any moist interior. Fill with pastry cream or ice cream; recap with the top, dust with a little powdered sugar and drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired. Keep in a cool place until serving time, but not in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen med/large cream puffs, 3 dozen medium-sized puffs, to 5 to 6 dozen cocktail-size puffs.

 

THE YUMMIEST CREAM EVER

for Cream Puffs, Napoleons, fruit etc.

1 small box of Instant Vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups of Cold Water
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk  *I like to buy the Fat Free*
(like Eagle Brand – not evaporated milk)

Mix above ingredients together with a Wire Whip.
Set in fridge to Cool, for 15 to 20 minutes.
This will set up and be quite firm.

Now fold in:
2 1/2 cups of Cool Whip.

Serve with fruit or use for Cream Puff filling, Napoleons or Eclairs.

Keep in well sealed container in the fridge.

This will hold up for 3 to 4 days.


HOT FUDGE SAUCE

 1 Cup quality Milk or Semi Chocolate Chips
1 can of Eagle Brand Milk

(I use the Fat Free)

1 stick of Butter (1/2 cup)

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in small pan on top of stove, and stir well, over medium heat. Stir constantly, until smooth and creamy. Do not let this boil. Pour over the top of ice Cream, etc.

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - May 31, 2012 - 8:19 am

    Mmm mmm these look so delicious! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Puppydogs - May 31, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    Hi
    Does the chocolate sauce get hard or stay creamy soft?
    thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Jonna - May 31, 2012 - 7:08 pm

      Hi Puppydogs,

      This Hot Fudge Sauce doesn’t get hard….it stays creamy soft!
      It’s perfect on ice cream as well.

      JonnaReplyCancel

  • GretelC - June 1, 2012 - 12:15 am

    instant vanilla pudding? Cool whip? Yuck! So disappointed!ReplyCancel

    • Jonna - June 1, 2012 - 6:30 am

      Hi Gretel,

      Don’t knock it until you try it! I would have thought the same thing,
      but it’s delicious. It doesn’t weep like a traditional Pastry cream will after being in Cream Puffs for a while, and I’ve never served it to anyone who didn’t love it and want the recipe. If you use Fat free Condensed milk, it is rather low in calories compared to a traditional Pastry Cream.
      However…you can always skip making it!

      JonnaReplyCancel

  • Dottie Wyatt - June 1, 2012 - 12:43 am

    OMG I am going to have to hide the scales and just deal with the extra pounds!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - June 2, 2012 - 10:27 am

    I read, but haven’t written before. Just wanted to say that you make some amazing things, and I love all the tips you have included. It is sad that someone would leave such an unkind comment. Not everything that pops into ones mind needs to be shared. If those are your thoughts, just move along. I think they sound wonderful and will probably make them!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica the baker - June 3, 2012 - 9:59 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy T - July 12, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    I just found your site thanks to Pinterest. So far everything looks delicious, but I have to comment on your photographs. Completely awesome. I’ll be trying some recipes soon!ReplyCancel

  • Susann Drake - November 15, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    About the bread flour. Do you think regular flour with Hodgson’s gluten added would give good results?ReplyCancel

    • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE! - November 15, 2012 - 2:44 pm

      Hi Susann,

      I’ve made these using regular All purpose flour, and the results are fine.
      I think it would give you good results!

      JonnaReplyCancel

  • rachel - January 23, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    I don’t know if there’s a misprint or if I’m just doing something wrong, but I tried making the cream and it never set up or got firm. I swear I’ve read the directions 20 times and finally I just added the cool whip to see if it would help and it’s turned into a runny goopy mess. So wish I could have tasted the goodness!ReplyCancel

    • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE! - January 23, 2013 - 5:23 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      I checked the recipe and it’s correct….did you use instant vanilla pudding?
      I can’t figure it out. The small package of instant pudding, 1 1/3 cups of Cold water whisked together with one can of Condensed milk.
      Whisk it all together and refrigerate for 15 to 20 min. It will be quite firm in the bowl.
      Then add the 2 1/2 cups of Cool whip. It soooooo good for fruit dip as well.

      I hope it will work for you! Email me if you like at:
      jonnalwarnke@gmail.com

      JonnaReplyCancel

  • Rachel - January 31, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    My only conclusion is that I got a bad box of pudding. Is that even possible? :) Guess so!

    I so much enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing with the rest of the world!ReplyCancel

  • rachel - February 23, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    Jonna! I tried making the cream again and it turned out great! It set up just like it is supposed to…I really do think I got a dud box of pudding last time. Thanks for another great & easy recipe–it was a crowd pleaser!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Rockliff - January 25, 2014 - 10:30 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    I have just used this receipe and they are billiant.

    My puffs are now basking in all their glory in my oven, they are golden brown crisp and they will be delicious.

    I shall serve them to friends tonight with carmel sauce and whipped cream.

    I shall go and do a taste test, just to be sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JulieReplyCancel

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