We had our Cub Scout Pinewood Derby this weekend. We always have a potluck dinner and awards for the families who belong to our pack. My loving middle son requested deviled eggs and cream puffs to be our contribution to the smorgasbord.
Cream puffs are one of my family's favorite desserts. I can't complain, because they are inexpensive to make. I would say they would win the prize for being the most frugal of the frugalest desserts. They only have five ingredients- yes 5!
I grew up eating cream puffs. My grandmother would make them every so often and share her efforts with us. I personally like cream puffs filled with plain whipped cream. You can pick that up for less than a dollar!
We have filled them with puddings and ice creams. We have sprinkled powder sugar or drizzled chocolate syrup over the crusty peaks. I have stuffed them full of tuna and chicken salad for brunch. I piped them into logs, filled them with a creamy filling, and frosted them for eclairs. I use the basic cream puff recipe for the bottom of a dessert. Needless to say, this is a very versatile recipe.
There are a few tricks to making cream puffs that fluff. Remember to let the flour mixture cool before adding the eggs. Add your eggs one at a time and beat the mixture WELL. I have seen Martha Stewart pipe her cream puffs into perfect little twists, but Grandma always uses a tablespoon and makes small dollops. Don't mess with something that ain't broken comes to mind...
Here's the recipe:
1 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
1 c. flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring the shortening and water to boil in a sauce pan. Add flour and salt, beat until the mixture forms a soft ball. Let cool (I spread it around to let it cool faster).