Homemade Cream Puffs

…And then there were cream puffs

Today was a miserable day. One where I came home grumpy, overwhelmed and wishing for a re-do. Angry at a disorder I can’t cure, disappointed and frustrated in myself, and feeling generally defeated. For these days, I’m not a runner and I’m not into retail therapy. My kitchen fixes everything.

I donned my pajama pants, an old t-shirt and my apron. Grabbed a slice of cheese and flipped through a cookbook looking for the most complicated recipe I could find. One that I’ve never made before but didn’t need to face the world again for ingredients.  Words like boil, beat, and stir vigorously don’t hurt either. It may have been a challenging day, but at least I can feel accomplished at something. I can say, I was sad…and then there were cream puffs.

Homemade Cream Puffs

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition


1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1 C. flour
4 eggs
Custard Cream Filling (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and have an ungreased baking sheet on hand.

2. Place butter and water in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a steady boil (should not stop bubbling when stirred) before adding flour. Turn heat down to low and stir vigorously until combined (about 1 minute). Mixture will form a soft mound.

3. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and beat in eggs. Dough should be smooth but hold together. Form 1 1/2 inch scoops and drop on the baking sheet (dough should make 12 puffs).

4. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. While the puffs are baking, make custard cream filling. Center of cream puff should be airy and dry. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.

5. To fill: Gently cut the top off each puff being careful not to crush or tear the top. Remove any soft or shiny dough from the center and fill with 1-2 Tbsp. of custard cream filling. Put the top back on and refrigerate until serving.

Custard Creme Filling

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition


1/3 C. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Combine sugar, starch, and salt in a small saucepan. Slowly stir in milk to avoid clumping. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When thickened, boil for 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat and temper the eggs (pour half of the boiling mixture into the egg yolks, stir, and then pour the mixture back into the larger pot.) This prevents the eggs from scrambling.

2. Return the mixture back to a boil over medium heat, continuing to stir for 1 minute. Add butter and vanilla.

3. Pour hot mixture into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before filling.

Sometimes the best things come out of the worst days.

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