Okay now these are impressive. This was my first time making cream puffs and they turned out perfect thanks to Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for cream puff dough that I’ve copied below. I filled them up with Bailey’s pastry cream because it felt festive and because Bailey’s is delicious. To save yourself some time you can fill these up with plain ol’ whip cream and they will still be amazing.
Bailey’s Cream Puffs
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: ~36 puffs
For the Dough
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Bailey’s Pastry Cream
- 1 ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup Bailey’s
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into 6 chunks
Starting off with the Bailey’s pastry cream: bring the milk and Bailey’s to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a medium heatproof bowl until blended. Whisking constantly, drizzle in one quarter of the hot milk to temper, or warm the yolks. Still whisking, add the remainder of the liquid in a steady stream. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and, whisking vigorously and constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep at a boil - never stop whisking – for 1 to 2 minutes, then press the cream through a sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in vanilla extract.
Leave the pastry cream on the counter for 10 minutes, then whisk in the butter until it is fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky.
Either press a piece of plastic film against the surface of the cream and refrigerate until it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours, or fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water, set the bowl of pastry cream in it and leave the cream there, stirring occasionally, until it’s cold. This can be made a day or two ahead of time.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a rapid boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and quickly start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or study heatproof spatula. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring vigorously for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should be very smooth.
Turn the dough out into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or into a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer or wooden spoon. Let the dough sit for 3 minutes, then add the eggs one by one, beating until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is fully incorporated before you add the next, and don't be concerned if the dough falls apart; by the time the last egg goes in, it will have come together again. The dough should be used immediately.
Pipe the dough onto a prepared baking sheet using a plain large piping tip (or cut off the edge of a ziplock bag. I made mine smaller than a golf ball, approximately 3 teaspoons of dough each. Leave 2 inches of space between each scoop.
Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375F. Bake the puffs for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, or until the puffs are golden brown, firm and feel hollow when tapped on their bottoms. Transfer the puffs to a cooling rack and allow them to come to room temperature.
To fill the puffs you can either cut them in half and fill them with the baileys pastry cream, or you can fit a pastry bag with a small tip, fill it, then use the tip to poke a hole in the side of the puff and squeeze in the filling through the hole. It’s best to fill the puffs shortly before you’re ready to serve, but if that’s not possible, cover the puffs and put them in the refrigerator until you’re ready for them (or for up to 4 hours).