Mmmmmmm...with all the holiday magazines on the self telling me how to put together the "perfect" meal plan for the upcoming festivities, I have been thinking alot about family traditions and the foods that accompany them. When I was growing up, my dad's parents also prepared the same special meal for special occasions and the menu never changed: beef stroganof, green beans, orange jello (made with orange juice!) and cream puffs for dessert. While my grandfather was the usual cook at the Lloyd house, I remember helping my granny put together these little desserts, which are still among my favorites. There was no special occasion last night but I decided to prepare these just to celebrate that every meal for us together is a treat. And aren't simple, everyday meals exactly what adds up to the best memories as an adult?
Granny's Cream Puffs (makes 6, give or take)
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
To make the puff:
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup all purpose butter
1/2 cup flour
Pour boiling water over butter in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir until butter melts. Add flour all at once- stir with wooden spoon until mixture leaves side of pan and forms a ball. remove from heat. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg until mixture forms a smooth paste. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 and bake for 30-40 minutes more. Cool puffs, cut off tops (save to put back on after filling!), remove any goey dough from the inside.
To make the filling:
Granny's directions merely state that she mixed cool whip with vanilla pudding...however, she doesn't state a size for either. I prepared the larger box of sugar free/fat free instant vanilla pudding and mixed it with the standard size Cool Whip. It made plenty (see below!) of filling. Using spoon, fill puffs with filling and place tops back on the puffs. I bought store made (the shame!) fudge icing and melted it in the microwave and smeared the chocolate on the top. Since you refridegerate these little guys (if you don't eat them all!), the chocolate gets yummy and hard, which makes the perfect culinary foil for the creamy filling.