Once I was intimidated just by the thought of making cream puffs. It is really much, much easier than you think.
These little puffs may be filled with almost anything. I will share my Shrimp and Crab filling that I use most often, but I have used most everything from egg salad to vanilla pudding and then frosted with chocolate.
1Put water and butter in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil until butter melts. Add salt.
2Remove from heat and add flour and stir until smooth and return to heat and continue stirring until mixture forms a smooth mass, and the bottom on the pan is coated with a fine film. (this indicates that the flour is cooked)
3Remove from heat and place mixture in the bowl of a food processor using the plastic dough blade. Add eggs one at a time, pulsing the batter until very smooth. (I started doing it this way when my shoulders would hurt so much from fibromyalgia that I couldn't beat the eggs in by hand any longer, now I wouldn't do it any other way)
4Once the eggs have been incorporated into the dough it may be covered and left at room temperature for an hour or so.
5Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Pipe dough with a pastry bag with 1/2 inch round tip onto parchment covered baking sheets, forming mounds 1 inch in diameter and 3/4 inch high. Lightly smooth the tops of each mound.
6Bake for 10 minutes, Reduce heat to 375-degrees and continue baking until the puffs are golden brown about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325-degrees and bake until puffs are firm and the inside is not sticky or doughy.
7Cool puffs on a wire rack. They may be used immediately or frozen in airtight container. To use, warm in a preheated oven for a few minutes.
8SHRIMP AND CRAB FILLING:
Toss together bread cubes, onions, melted butter and eggs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
9Next day add celery, shrimp, crab and mayonnaise. Taste for seasoning. May need salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.
10Use for filling mini cream puffs, canape`s or to make a sandwich with the filling. It is good enough to eat by itself. Bread extends the filling without compromising on flavor and taste.