Cream puffs are something that will always, always remind me of my grandmother. There are just a few baked goodies that instantly remind me of her including shortbread(made into little thumbprint cookies with a piece of maraschino cherry on top), an incredible chocolate cake that was made with zucchini(and yes I knew about it! :D), perfectly frosted cupcakes with jam or jelly thinly spread around the sides and then rolled in coconut and cream puffs.
Not just any cream puffs though, they were always incredible. Tall and filled with perfectly whipped cream and to make them special she always hid a small dollop of some kind of pudding in the bottom of each puff. So in the spirit of that, even though my cream puffs will probably never be as tall or as perfect, I filled these with a small dollop of a chocolate peanut butter “pudding” underneath the sweet whipped cream. Of course you could just fill them with cream though, if that’s how you like them.
These cream puffs are actually for a surprise virtual baby shower for the lovely Caroline of Chocolate and Carrots!! Be sure to check out what all the other bloggers involved have made for the party with the links below. And thank you so much to Erin of Texanerin Baking for organizing such a fun virtual party! Of course, a big congratulations to Caroline and her husband – we’re all so excited for you!
Carrot Cake Colada by Healthy Food For Living
Strawberry Mint Sparkling Lemonade by Bran Appetit
Pancetta and Chive Quiche by Baked Bree
Mini Quinoa Bites with Goat Cheese Pesto by Simply Whole Kitchen
Baby Cinnamon Buns by Kevin & Amanda
Mini Lemon Lime Cheesecakes by Baked by Rachel
No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes with Lemon Blueberry Sauce by Bake Your Day
No Bake Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes by Eat Good 4 Life
Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Cream by Fearless Homemaker
10 Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies by Itzy’s Kitchen
100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes by Texanerin Baking
Makes 12 large puffs
- 1 C water
- 1/2 C butter
- 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp gluten flour(or 1/4 C all purpose flour)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or a non-stick liner.
In a medium sized pot over medium heat, heat the water and butter until the butter melts. Add the flour, gluten and salt and mix well. Turn the heat down slightly and cook until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball in the middle of the pot. Continue to cook for a couple minutes, stirring and mixing the dough. Turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Once cool enough to add the eggs, add one at a time and beat with a spoon until completely incorporated. Once all the eggs are added, and the dough is very well beaten, divide into 12 “balls” of dough (6 on each baking sheet) using a large spoon. Do not press down, try to keep the dough as tall as possible, but push down any small pieces of dough that stick up too far that might burn or get overly brown.
Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and poke each puff to release the steam. Once cool enough to handle, take a serrated knife and gently slice the top off each puff. Remove the tops and allow the puffs to cool completely.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 C whipping cream
- 2/3 C powdered sugar
- 1-2 tsp vanilla
Whip the cream, starting at a low speed and working up. Beat until soft peaks form, being careful not to over beat as it wont be as smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Set aside or cover and chill until ready to use.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling
- 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter(I use a natural peanut butter, but any kind is fine)
- 2/3 tbsp milk(low fat works fine – I’ve even used almond milk)
- dash vanilla
- tiny pinch salt
Melt all over medium heat in a small pot on the stove. Whisk together. Once all the ingredients are combined and smooth, place in a small bowl or ramekin, cover and chill until firm, at least a couple hours, or overnight.
To assemble cream puffs: Run a spoon along the inside of each puff to push down or remove the excess and make room for more filling. Once the chocolate peanut butter filling is completely chilled and set, scoop a small spoonful into the bottom of each puff. Top with whipped cream and place the top of each puff back in place. Dust with powdered sugar and serve, or store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Note: The chocolate filling is the only thing that needs to be made slightly ahead of time to give it time to chill and set. All parts of the cream puff can be made ahead though and filled right before serving although the puff will be soft instead of slightly crisp on the outside. The chocolate filling can be omitted for plain cream puffs, just increase the amount of cream very slightly. The entire cream puff(with or without chocolate filling) can be assembled and stored in the fridge overnight or until ready to serve.