Total Calories: 254
1 Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a large baking sheet.
2 In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the butter, water, and salt to a rapid boil. Remove from the heat. Add the flour all at once and stir well with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated and a dough has formed.
3 Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and turning the dough often, until the dough begins to leave a thin film on the bottom of the saucepan, about 3 minutes. (This dries the dough so the cream puffs will be crisp.) With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough into a large bowl.
4 With a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time until they are thoroughly incorporated. Continue to beat until smooth and shiny, about 2 minutes.
5 Scoop up a rounded tablespoon of the dough. Use a second spoon to push the dough off the spoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Form 12 mounds, spaced about 3 inches apart. With moistened fingertips, pat the tops to round the shape.
6 Bake the cream puffs 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Turn off the oven and remove the puffs. With a small knife, make a small hole in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Return the puffs to the oven for 10 minutes to dry.
7 Using a serrated knife, cut the puffs partway in half horizontally. Open like a book and scoop out the soft dough from the inside. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
8 At least 20 minutes before you are ready to fill the cream puffs, place a large bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer in the refrigerator.
9 Remove the bowl and beaters. Pour the cream into the bowl. Add the vanilla and the 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar. With the mixer, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks, about 4 minutes. Spoon the cream into the puffs. Dust with additional confectioner's sugar and serve immediately.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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