Growing up my mom was always baking. I remember coming home from school almost everyday to cookies or cinnamon rolls or whatever she’d whipped up that day. I’m pretty sure thats where I developed my love of baking was from her.
One thing I very vividly remember her making on a pretty regular basis was cream puffs. I loved them, and I still do. The best part about them was that delicious chocolate buttercream frosting she put on them. I know typically eclairs are frosted and cream puffs usually aren’t, but honestly, they are basically the same thing, only shaped different so why not add chocolate frosting. After all, chocolate makes everything better. They were scrumptious.
I’m not sure what made me think of them the other day, but I was needing a dessert to make for a party and for some random reason, cream puffs came to mind. So I made them. They were delicious, just like I remember them. My first bite brought back a flood of memories and I kind of wanted to be a kid again. I called my mom and told her I made them, I think she wants to make them now!
If you’ve never made them, don’t let them intimidate you. I pinky swear that they are so easy to make. Take them to your next party or family get together and you will completely impress anyone there . . . you may even become everyone’s new BFF!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 eggs
- 1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
- 1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant white chocolate pudding
- 3 cups half-n-half (can use fat free)
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp. half-n-half (or milk or cream)
To make the shells: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. Set aside. Combine butter and boiling water in saucepan; keep on low heat until butter melts. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball and leaves sides of pan. Cook about 2 minutes until mixture is very dry.
Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Continue beating until a thick dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a brown paper-lined cookie sheet.
Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake for about another 15 to 25 minutes, or until there are no beads of moisture on top of the puff.
To make filling: Combine pudding mixes and half-and-half in a bowl. Whisk for about 2 minutes. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes to set up.
To make the frosting: combine all ingredients and mix until smooth
To assemble: When puffs have cooled, cut them horizontally (not all the way through if you can help it) and remove any doughy centers. Fill with cream filling and then frost with chocolate frosting. Store in refrigerator.
DO NOT open the door during the early part of baking! I also have my favorite homemade cream filling that I sometimes do, I will share that another time. But if you're in a hurry, the pudding works great, is so quick and easy, and tastes delicious!