Cream Puffs

I've said this before...I'm not a huge baker but I have been experimenting more and more.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Well anyway, I'm not going to lie...my mom made these cream puffs.  I stopped over to see her and she was making them for a brunch she was attending.  They were just too pretty for me not to share. 

Cream Puffs
recipe and photos by halftomatohalfpotato
yields 10-12 puffs

For the Cream Puff Shell

-1 Cup Water
-½ Cup butter
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1 Cup all purpose flour
-4 eggs

-Add butter, water and salt to a sauce pot over medium heat
-Bring to a roaring boil
-Remove from heat
-Add 1 cup flour (all at once); mix thoroughly 
-Let cool slightly then stir in 4 eggs, one at a time, beating with a hand mixer in between additions
-Use a large spoon to form the dough mixture into 2.5 inch circular mounds
-Place mounds onto ungreased cooking sheet or parchment paper 
-Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F and bake 20 more minutes
-Remove from cooking sheet and carefully slice the puffs in half, horizontally 
-Cool on a wire rack

For the Custard Filling

-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 cups whole milk
-4 egg yolks
-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
-1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

-In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, flour and salt
-Add milk gradually, cooking and stirring until mixture is thick and bubbly
-Lower heat, stirring for 2 minutes
-Stir in egg yolks slowly to cream mixture
-Bring to gentle boil for 2 more minutes
-Add butter and vanilla
-Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool, placing plastic wrap on the top of the custard to prevent a skin
 forming; refrigerate
-Once custard has cooled completely, scoop the cream filling into bottom half of pastry shells until they are very full
-Add top halves back onto filled shells and dust with powdered sugar

sliced, unfilled shells

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