Mel's Kitchen Cafe Mini Cream Puffs
There are so many amazing food bloggers out there.....we love trying their stuff too!
Clearly we are foodies over here at the Food Nanny! We love trying new things as much as the next person! So every now and then we like to give a shout out to some of the things we've been trying that we can't get enough of! We have had so much fun making (and eating) these amazing mini cream puffs we got off Mel's Kitchen Cafe.com!!! Sometimes we add chocolate frosting and make them more like eclairs when we feel like it and sometimes we leave them just as they are!! At first they are a little intimidating to make, but they really are easy and SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks Mel's Kitchen for all your yummy ideas too!!!!! XOXO
Mel's Kitchen Mini Cream Puffs
- Cream Puff Shells:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup 8 tablespoons, 1 stick butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Vanilla Cream Filling:
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sweetened Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Place an oven rack in the lower-middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin (or a 48-cup tin if you have one; otherwise you'll bake two batches of cream puffs).
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture forms a ball.
- Scrape the warm mixture into a mixing bowl (or into the bowl of an electric stand mixer) and beat with a handheld electric mixer until the dough has cooled slightly, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
- Scoop a heaping 1/2 tablespoon into each mini muffin tin (about 1/2 full). I use a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon and do it the old-fashioned way (using my finger to scoop it out into the muffin tin). I tried a pastry bag but it was messy and hard to approximate how much I needed for each little tin.
- Once the mini muffin cups are filled, wet your fingers and dab them on the top of the mounded dough to smooth out any rough spots and even out the dough (this will help them bake into a pretty rounded top).
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the tops of the shells are lightly golden and they are baked all the way through (if there is any doughy moisture inside the shells still, they will probably collapse).
- Remove the pan from the oven and working quickly, use a thin wooden skewer to pierce the side of each cream puff and pull it out of the tin and onto a cooling rack. Piercing a little hole in the cream puff will allow any steam to escape. I try to poke the cream puff shell right in the middle where I'll be splitting it anyway to add the cream.
- Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough.
- For the vanilla cream filling, in a medium saucepan, bring the milk and 1/4 cup powdered sugar to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, egg, cornstarch and 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Slowly ladle or drizzle in the hot milk mixture to the bowl while whisking constantly (this tempers the eggs so they don't curdle and cook into hard bits). Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring and/or whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer (this part is optional but can help remove any lumps) into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the top and refrigerate until cold. The vanilla cream filling can be made up to a week in advance.
- For the sweetened whipped cream, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks (I like to use my Blendtec for whipping cream; super simple and takes just a minute or two).
- Split each cooled cream puff shell in half right at the seam where the puffy top meets the smooth bottom. Spoon vanilla cream into the bottom of each shell and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and place the top back on. Lightly dust all the cream puffs with powdered sugar.
- The cream puffs can be fully assembled up to a day in advance (they actually taste better if assembled ahead of time). I store them uncovered in the refrigerator up to a day before serving.