Every year when I was growing up my family would go to the Wisconsin state fair. One of the things we did every time was get a cream puff. There was always a long line for them with good reason. The crispy outside and slightly custardy inside of the puff, the billowy fresh whipped cream, and a generous dusting of confectioner's sugar combined into an almost magical dessert. These were enormous cream puffs you could eat out of hand, slurping and licking the whipped cream as it oozed out of the shell. Ahhh, memories.
The first summer I was living in Oregon I asked a co-worker who was going to the state fair if they had cream puffs. She looked at me like I had sprouted an extra head, and said “No. They have elephant ears.” It was hard for me to accept. How could the state fair not have cream puffs?? Lucky for me the Wisconsin Baker's Association has published the recipe.
My version is based on the official version. I've tweaked the dough ingredients and the technique to make it easier with a consistently good outcome. (Using some tips from Shirley Corriher and Rose Levy Beranbaum – the food processor was a revelation for the pâte à choux!) I've gone way off the reservation with the filling, so if you are a purist feel free to fill with lightly sweetened vanilla-flavored whipped cream. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour
Hardlikearmour has accomplished something truly admirable with this recipe; she's made cream puffs approachable. She cleverly presses the food processor into service to cool down the dough and then incorporate the eggs; purists will insist on stirring by hand, but this technique proves the elbow grease method simply isn't necessary. She also uses an extra egg white for her puffs, reserving the yolk for glazing the tops. (Shirley Corriher explains that extra white makes for bigger puffs that don't get too gooey inside, and these certainly fit the bill). The dense cream filling is decidedly more boozy than chocolately, but that was fine with us! Who wouldn't want one of these sugar-dusted puffs to help sustain them while waiting in line for yet another go on the ferris wheel? - A&M —The Editors