Cream Puffs

½ c water
4 T butter
½ c flour
2 eggs, at room temp

Preheat the oven to 375°. Combine the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to moderate heat and stir constantly until the dough leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 min.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating hard until the dough is smooth. Place large, rounded tablespoons of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes or until the puffs are golden.

Carefully slice the tops off the puffs and scoop out the centers. Cool on a rack. Fill with Basic Cream Filling. Replace the tops and cover them with Chocolate Frosting for Cream Puffs and Eclairs.

Basic Cream Filling
1 c whole milk
½ c sugar
3 T flour
⅛ t salt
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 t vanilla

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan until very hot, but not boiling. Mix the sugar, flour, and salt together in a bowl, stir in the hot milk, and beat until well-blended. Pour back into the pan and continue to stir vigorously over low heat 4-5 minutes, until very thick and smooth. Add the egg yolks and cook, for a few more minutes. Cool, stirring from time to time, then add the vanilla. Makes about 1½ cups.

Chocolate Frosting for Cream Puffs and Eclairs
3 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 T butter

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a heavy-bottomed small pan over moderate heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Spoon over filled cream puffs and let drip down the sides.

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