Cream puffs

Italian, pastry, French, homemade, cream puff, canoli, eclair, pudding, custard, kid, friendly, fun, easy, delicious, party, dessert, snack, fancy, chocolate, vanilla, Villa Italia, Schenectady

Not only have I not been eating healthy these first three months of 2013, but I'm eating downright terribly. It's not the lack of good food, it's probably the abundance of bad food that's going to kill me in the end.

One particular weakness of mine is Italian pastries. Kevin and I found the BEST Italian pastry shop in Schenectady, NY, called Villa Italia. We figure that since we only see each other once or twice a month, we have a right to indulge in as many cream puffs, cannolis, eclairs, and cookies as we can fit into our stomachs. It doesn't leave us feeling too great about ourselves, but oh my god are they delicious.

Italian, pastry, French, homemade, cream puff, canoli, eclair, pudding, custard, kid, friendly, fun, easy, delicious, party, dessert, snack, fancy, chocolate, vanilla, Villa Italia, Schenectady

So since I had a three week period where I didn't drive to beautiful (ha!) Schenectady, I figured I had to get my fix the old-fashioned way: by making them from scratch. And you know what? It was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined.

You will need:

  • 7 oz instant pudding mix (I got one box of chocolate and one of vanilla)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding, cream, and milk. Cover and set aside in the fridge to set.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Add in flour and salt, stirring until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to large mixing bowl, and using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer (I found the spoon more effective), add in the eggs one at a time. Drop tablespoons of the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Italian, pastry, French, homemade, cream puff, canoli, eclair, pudding, custard, kid, friendly, fun, easy, delicious, party, dessert, snack, fancy, chocolate, vanilla, Villa Italia, Schenectady

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

When they are cool enough to handle, split them open and spread with custard mixture, or pipe the custard into the middle of the shells with a piping bag.

Italian, pastry, French, homemade, cream puff, canoli, eclair, pudding, custard, kid, friendly, fun, easy, delicious, party, dessert, snack, fancy, chocolate, vanilla, Villa Italia, Schenectady

 I was shocked at how well they turned out. They were a little flatter than I would have liked, and in the future I plan to use a cookie press, piping bag, or cookie scoop to plop the dough onto the baking sheet, so they would be more uniform. They could also have been taller, but taste-wise they were perfect. 

Italian, pastry, French, homemade, cream puff, canoli, eclair, pudding, custard, kid, friendly, fun, easy, delicious, party, dessert, snack, fancy, chocolate, vanilla, Villa Italia, Schenectady

The chocolate cream puffs were more photogenic than the vanilla ones, but that isn't to say they tasted better. I can vouch for them both, because I had about ten of each flavor.

Not saying I felt wonderful after that decision, but you know what? It was worth it. 

 

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

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