Cream Puffs

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8 large egg yolks
1 c. (200 g.) granulated sugar
1/3 c. (38 g.) cornstarch
4 c. whole milk
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped, or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. (60 g.) all-purpose flour
1/4 c. (55 g.) light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. whole milk
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 c. (120 g.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 large eggs, beaten to blend

How to:


In a medium heatproof bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks. In a medium pot, whisk granulated sugar and cornstarch. While whisking, slowly add milk until combined.

Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, then slowly pour about 1/2 cup milk mixture into yolks while whisking.

While whisking, pour warmed egg mixture back into pot. Add vanilla seeds, then bring to a boil. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to a pudding-like consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted.

Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto mixture and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.


In a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed (or in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat flour, brown sugar, and butter until combined.

Divide dough between 2 pieces of parchment and roll out to 1/8″ thick. Using a round 1 1/4″ cookie cutter, cut out 28 circles. Freeze dough on parchment, at least 15 minutes or up to 1 month.

Preheat oven to 425° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine milk, butter, granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted and mixture starts to simmer. Add flour and salt and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until a smooth dough forms and leaves a slight film on bottom of pan, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer dough to a large bowl or the large bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Using handheld mixer or stand mixer, beat on medium speed until dough is cooled down and no longer warm to the touch, about 5 minutes.

While beating, slowly stream in eggs. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until dough is shiny and an indention remains when you run your finger through it (it will be slightly sticky). Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

Pipe circles about 1 1/2″ wide onto prepared sheets, spacing 2″ apart. Place a frozen circle of craquelin on top of each.

Bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375°. Continue to bake until deeply golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes more. When tapped on the bottom, they should sound hollow inside. Let cool.

Transfer chilled custard to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Using a small knife, poke a hole in bottom of each puff about the same size as small tip.

Fill each puff with cream until puff feels heavy. If not serving right away, refrigerate cream puffs until ready to serve.

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