Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs
  Can you believe these cream puffs were made and decorated by Little Chef A? We have never made these before. She did a wonderful job following directions and executing the frosting.  Little Chef A made these with Grandma which made the experience even more memorable. The ingredients are very basic for the puff; eggs, butter and water.
   Water and margarine were added to a saucepan and heated to a rolling boil.
   Little Chef A added the flour and stirred as hard and as fast as she could. Her arms became tired so Grandma had a turn and I had a turn.  Finally the mixture formed a ball!
   The eggs were dumped in and the stirring resumed. When the dough comes together the stirring is done.
   Little Chef A eyeballed a golf ball sized piece and rolled it in her hands to form a ball.
   They were all placed on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for the magic to happen.
  Little Chef A was so excited to see how these came out of the oven. They had puffed up and were beautiful!
  Now it is time for the filling.
   Sugar, cornstarch and salt were added to saucepan.
   The milk was gradually stirred in. Each time they pour in milk it runs down the side, just like this! When I see this I say just pour
it in forget about the gradual part.
   The milk was heated to a boil and was obviously thickening.
   Little Chef A learned how to temper an egg. She mixed the egg yolk a bit, then added in a little bit of warm milk After stirring for a minute she poured it back into the warm mixture.
   Little Chef A stirred the mixture for another minute after it boiled. She then added in the margarine and vanilla. The mixture was then set aside to cool.
   Now for the fun part…putting it all together! She cut the top third off each puff and filled them.
  Cream puffs need some sort of pretty decoration of top, whether it be powdered sugar or frosting. Given the option my Little Chefs would love to play with frosting any day. This time we used the easy prepared frosting. I showed her on a paper towel how to make the green leaves and the red flower. She did it entirely herself on all the cream puffs. She thought it would be pretty to have two green leaves, one on each side.
  I loved how this recipe is created from everyday pantry items. The transformation of those simple ingredients to this dessert amazed Little Chef A. They all loved the outcome.  This recipe because of the timing and vigorous stirring would not be a first recipe Little Chefs could do on their own. With some assistance it would be possible.
Cream Puffs
Cream Puffs
Five Little Chefs
Yield: 12
1 cup water
1/2 cup stick margarine or butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat water and margarine to rolling boil. In 2 1/2 qt saucepan. Stir in flour; reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at once, continue beating until smooth. Drop by scant 1/4 cupfuls about 3″ apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft.
Cut off top third of each puff and pull out any strands of soft dough. Fill puff with cream filling; replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Cream Filling
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons softened stick butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in 2 quart saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thicken and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in margarine and vanilla. Cool.


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