Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Grandma B's Cream Puff Dessert

Sorry for no post on Monday--I've been sick (again! Second time this month!) But I'm back and with a killer recipe.

Back in the day, when Mr. Kim Chee and I would head to his family's house for the holidays, we could always expect that someone would bring the cream puff dessert. While Mr. Kim Chee tells me that it's not necessarily a Christmas-related dish, I always remember having it at Christmas. It's a relatively quick dessert to make (made even simpler if you use premade ingredients like Cool Whip and readymade chocolate syrup rather than making your own) and it's something you don't see every day.

The base of this dessert is a simple cream puff (or, if you want to get fancy, choux) dough. The dough starts with water and butter in a sauce pot.

Once the water and butter are boiling, you add flour.
Stir the flour in until a dough forms.

It should form into a ball of dough.

Remove the pot from the heat and add four eggs, one at a time. Beat really well after each addition--you want to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated, and you want to stir vigorously to avoid your eggs from scrambling.

Here's what the dough should look like after all the eggs are added.

Turn the dough out onto a well-greased cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan.) Spread the dough out on the sheet. The dough is a bit sticky--using a wet spatula helps. If the dough starts to stick again, just run the spatula or spoon under the faucet for another second to re-wet it.

All spread out.

Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Like this!

If your dough puffs up in places, just press the bubbles back down. Now set the dough aside and get to work on the topping!

I made the whipped cream first. I poured a cup of heavy cream into my mixing bowl.

The original recipe used Cool Whip, which you can certainly use if you like. I find Cool Whip makes my tummy feel funny, so I try to avoid it when possible, but I know Mr. Kim Chee could finish off a tub of Cool Whip by himself if left to his own devices.

Give your cream a whipping. When it starts to thicken, sprinkle in a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar to sweeten things up.

A teaspoon of vanilla would be nice too.

Whip until the cream has very stiff peaks. Which I am afraid to say I didn't take a picture of. But I like to overwhip a bit--better to overwhip a little than underwhip, in this case.

Set the cream in another bowl so you can re-use the mixing bowl. Toss in a brick of softened cream cheese.

Give the cream cheese a quick whip, just to spread it out a little in the bowl.
Now for some Jello. I used two small packages of instant vanilla.

Pour the pudding in with the cream cheese. Beat them around a bit.

Some milk will thin things out.

All mixed up!

Be sure to follow the instructions on the back of the pudding when whipping--you want to make sure you stir long enough to make sure your pudding thickens up.

Spread the pudding mixture over your cooled cream puff base. It will seem like a lot, but the more, the better!

I like to leave a little of the cream puff showing along the edges.

Now top the pudding with the whipped cream. You can see how stiffly I beat it here.

I like how all the layers look.

Top your assembled dessert with some Chocolate Syrup For Your Sweetie and you're all set! Take this to your next potluck or party and people will be raving for the recipe!

Recipe: Grandma B's Cream Puff Dessert

Cream puff base:
1 c. water
1 stick butter
1 c. flour
4 eggs

Whipped cream:
1 c. whipping cream
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Pudding layer:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 small (3.8 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding
4 c. milk

For cream puffs: In a medium sauce pot, combine water and butter. Bring to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, sprinkle in flour and stir until the dough forms a ball.

Remove dough from heat. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Pour and spread the dough out onto a well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

For whipped cream: Pour whipping cream into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until cream starts to thicken. Sprinkle in sugar and add vanilla. Whip cream until very stiff. Move cream to a different bowl and re-use mixing bowl.

For pudding layer: Whip cream cheese briefly in the mixing bowl. Add pudding mix and beat together. Add milk gradually until all the milk is added.

Top cream puff base with pudding. Top pudding with whipped cream. Top entire dessert with chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

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