Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mom's Cream Puffs

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My mom used to make these for special occasions, one of my favorite desserts. A couple things to remember when making them -- do not open the oven while they are baking or they will fall. They should be crispy on the outside. Sometimes, I lengthen the baking time, but if they get too brown and dark, you can poke multiple holes in it using a toothpick, turn the oven off, and let them sit there until the oven cools down. That will ensure that they are fully cooked. As you cut them open prior to filling, there may be a slightly wet web, an uncooked center part, which you can just remove before filling.

Puff Pastry:
1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Boil the water and butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour over low heat until a roux is formed (about 1 min). Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at once with a mixer and continue beating until smooth. Drop ¼ cupfuls, 3” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min, then reduce heat while baking to 350 degrees, and bake for 30-35 more min. Cool on a wire rack. Cut in half lengthwise and remove any wet dough from the center.

1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp almond extract

Whip the whipping cream with a mixer until stiff peaks form, then add the powdered sugar and almond extract. Be careful that you do not over beat, as it will turn into butter. Fill the cream puffs. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

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