Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Almond Cream Puffs

Ahhh... the cream puff. Not only is it a beautiful creation that will wow your guests, but they are so easy to make, especially if you fill them with an instant pudding concoction! I began making this recipe over 30 years ago, and it has been a standard in our home ever since. I've made several time-saving changes in the recipe over the years that you are sure to appreciate! You didn't hear this from me, but husbands have been known to polish off a "to do" list in record time if a batch of cream puffs is given as the "reward." (I'm just saying.) Cream Puffs are an easy and impressive dessert. I served these at my mother's 80th birthday party a few years ago, and one of the elderly men attending the party boasted that he had eaten 20 of them! He was exaggerating. I'm pretty sure it was only 10. It's a recipe that I happily share. It just might be the perfect ending to your holiday meal...

Almond Cream Puffs
(Makes 12 large or 20 smaller puffs)
The Puff:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1.) In saucepan over medium heat, heat water, butter, and salt until water boils and butter melts. Remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, vigorously stir in the flour all at once until mixture forms a ball and leaves sides of pan. 
2.) Transfer the flour mixture to a mixing bowl. Add eggs to flour mixture one at a time, beating after each addition, until mixture is smooth and satiny. Cool mixture slightly.
3.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease and flour large cookie sheet. Drop batter onto cookie sheet by heaping tablespoons (for 12 large puffs). 
4.) Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off the oven; let puffs remain in oven 15 minutes. Remove puffs from oven; cool on wire rack.

Golden cream puffs emerging from oven...

 Cool on wire rack...

 If you're not going to fill the puffs right away, just let them sit out on your counter. 
Don't bother putting them in a sealed container because they tend to go soft. 
You want them crisp!

There are two ways to fill a cream puff -- I've done it both ways...

When puffs are cool, you can use a long serrated knife and slice the puffs horizontally in half.
Spoon the filling into the puff and replace the top.

Or you can make a little hole in the puff and use a pastry bag with a large-holed tip to fill the puff...

5.) Prepare Almond Cream filling and fill the puffs.
6.) For chocolate glaze. I buy a 16 oz. container of ready-made chocolate frosting. I like Duncan Hines Creamy "Dark Chocolate Fudge" frosting.  (Dark chocolate frosting looks shiny!) Heat chocolate frosting in your microwave for about 30 - 40 seconds. Stir the chocolate frosting after taking it out of the microwave and make sure it "drizzles" from the spoon. Drizzle the chocolate frosting over the tops of the puffs. 
7.) Refrigerate puffs until ready to eat!

Almond Cream Filling:
Prepare a 3.4 oz. package of vanilla flavored instant pudding as label directs but use only 1 1/2 cups of milk. Fold in 8 oz. Cool Whip and 1 tsp. almond extract. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Tip: When "frosting" the cream puffs, arrange the filled puffs on your serving platter, then drizzle the frosting over each one. (You don't want to have to move the puffs after frosting them.) Then refrigerate the platter of puffs!


Linked to:
Saturday Soiree @ A Little Lovely
Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Fabulous Friday Finds @ Frou Frou Decor
Show Off your Stuff Party @ Fireflies and Jellybeans
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Get Your Craft on Thursday @ Life as Lori
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Strut Your Stuff @ Saturday Mornings