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How to Make Cream Puffs with Vanilla Filling

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Cream Puffs
Photo: Diana Rattray
  • Creamy Vanilla Filling

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cream Puffs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • Confectioners' Sugar

Filling

Scald milk in top of double boiler over boiling water. Mix 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir into scalding milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Cover and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Add a small amount of hot mixture to beaten eggs; return to the mixture in double boiler. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add butter. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill well, then stir in the vanilla before filling the cream puffs.
 

Cream Puffs

In large saucepan heat water, 1/2 cup of butter, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat; quickly stir in flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue mixing until batter leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and put in the bowl of a stand mixer or keep the batter in the  pan and use a portable hand-held mixer. Add the 4  beaten  eggs a little at a time (about 6 additions), beating with the mixer after each addition until batter is smooth. 

Drop dough from large metal spoon onto greased baking sheets, forming 12 to 16 mounds about 3 inches apart. Bake at 400° for 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer immediately to racks to cool away from drafts. When completely cooled, split and fill with the chilled and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or frost with thin chocolate icing if desired.

Alternatively, you can leave them whole and pipe the filling into the puffs.

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