Just the sound of the name might make you think this is a hard thing to make, but don't be fooled. Cream puffs are extremely easy to make, and take only a few ingredients.
For a super quick and easy filling, just make instant pudding...for a more decadent filling, see my suggestions below...
For Cream Puff Shells, you'll need:
1/2 cup real unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 400. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a heavy saucepan, heat butter, water and salt over med-high heat until mixture boils and butter melts. Reduce to low and quickly stir in flour all at once to form a thick ball of dough. Scoop it into a bowl, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Drop blobs of dough (about 1-2 Tbsp.) onto the prepared baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove pan from oven and cut about a 1 inch slit in the side of each puff. Reduce oven to 375. Return pan with puffs to oven and bake 10 more minutes. I let my puffs remain on the pan until cooled, but you can also cool them on a rack.
When completely cooled, you can fill them and serve right away.
OR you can put them in a container and set on the counter for up to 24 hours before filling.
OR you can fill them, and chill them, but the puffs will soften after filled and refrigerated for a long time.
Slice the puffs in half horizotally, using a serrated knife. Plop a blob of filling on the bottom part, and pop the top back on. Sprinkle with powdered sugar!
1. Make one small package of French Vanilla (or any flavor) Instant Pudding, using only 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk. When it's chilled and set, stir in 1/2 cup of whipped cream (I use heavy cream and whip it myself, but you can use cool ship, or canned whipped cream if you want).
2. For a totally YUMMALICIOUS filling, whip some heavy cream until just foamy. Sprinkle in PLENTY of Ghiradelli Mocha or Hazelnut Hot Cocoa Powder Mix, continue whipping until stiff peaks form (don't over whip). This made a FANTASTIC filling!!! :)