Cremé De La Cremé Cream Puffs
Whip up something sweet for your special someone with this simple recipe for cream puffs - perfect for Valentine's Day.
Love is in the air! Let’s celebrate! And boy, do we this month. Just back from an amazing Super Bowl party, complete with “Stadimint Macarons” (mint macarons decorated like a football stadium) and currently gearing up for Galentines, a romantic dinner with my hubby, and our family tradition of Valentine’s brinner, complete with heart shaped waffles, pancakes, biscuits and crepes. Whew! I’m full already, but I can’t wait to dive into these beauties - cream puffs filled with strawberries!
Growing up, one of my mom’s go-to recipes for special occasions was cream puffs. I remember watching her make them and thinking they made everything feel so fancy and pretty. I also remember thinking they were so intimidating because Mom had to be so focused and careful making them. The extra effort always made them feel extra special...and over time, I’ve found you can add the extra special, without the extra fear. There are two key tricks to taming these tasty treats, turning them from touchy and terrifying to simple (and simply fabulous!):
- Let the dough cool long enough while it beats in the mixer - don’t rush this step
- Let the puffs fully cook, without opening the oven, until golden and done
So add a little fancy to your celebration this season and serve your special someone the creme de la creme this Valentine’s!
Cremé De La Cremé Cream Puffs
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- Electric mixer
- Medium saucepan
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Piping bag with round and star tip
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (or salted butter and leave out the ¼ tsp salt below)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour measured correctly
- 4 eggs (large), room temperature
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream chilled
- 4 Tbsp powdered sugar ( +1 Tbsp to sprinkle on top)
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (to taste)
- 1 dozen strawberries, sliced (optional)
Note: You can substitute flour and heavy cream with whole wheat flour and non-fat milk for a slightly slimmer sweet. To vary the flavor, substitute vanilla extract for lemon extract and add blueberries, orange extract paired with cranberries, or almond or chocolate with raspberries.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized pan, add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 8 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat then immediately remove from heat and quickly mix in 1 cup of flour.
- Place the mixture on medium heat again, stirring constantly for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (The dough should come together into a shiny, smooth ball.)
- Place the dough in an electric mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for ~1-2 minutes to cool the mixture.
- One at a time, add 4 eggs, keeping the mixer beating. Allow each egg to fully mix in before adding the next.
- Beat the dough another minute to allow it to continue to cool. To test for readiness, stop the mixer and pull up the blades. A thick ribbon of dough from the bowl to blade should appear when pulled up.
- Place the dough in a piping bag with a 1/2" round tip. Moving in a circular motion, pipe 24 small puffs or a dozen medium puffs (minis are ~1.5 inches in diameter and medium are ~3 inches in diameter). Leave 1-2 inches between each as they will puff in the oven.
- Bake at 425˚F for 10 minutes, then reduce temp, without opening the oven, to 325˚F (the pastry dough, like souffles, will fall easily until fully baked). Bake 18-22 min longer or until golden brown on top.
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups heavy cream, 4 Tbsp powdered sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is fluffy with stiff peaks (2-3 min).
- Fill piping bag with a large open star tip with cream.
- Once cream puffs are completely cooled, cut tops off. If adding fruit, place fruit inside the puff.
- Pipe cream into puff and dust with powdered sugar.
These puffs are perfect for Galentine’s, bridal or baby showers, teas (Downton, Royal Wedding, or otherwise), and pair perfectly with champagne doughnuts!
So where will you serve them next? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or tag #ourlifenbloom in your photo posts!