For the creme puff shells:
A stainless steel pot(do not use non stick)
1 cup of water
1 cup of pre-sifted all purpose flour
1/2 a cup of butter flavored shortening that has been cubed
1/4 tsp plus a pinch of salt
1/2 T. of sugar
4 extra large eggs
For the filling:
I just noticed that the filling recipe I had here needed to be doubled so if it looks slightly different then how you remembered it, that's because it is! Sorry!!
2 boxes of INSTANT french vanilla pudding(not vanilla buddy, FRENCH VANILLA) mixed with 3 cups of cold whole milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp of good vanilla extract
1/2 T to 1 T. of powdered sugar(you may omit the extra powdered sugar altogether, if you'd like)
Things you will need for piping and filling the shells are:
Tip #12(made by Wilton) to pipe the shells onto baking sheet
Tip #22(also made by Wilton) to fill the shells
2 Disposable piping bags(they come in packages of 12, 24, or 100 at Amazon.com,Michael's or some grocery stores)
A large baking sheet
Reynolds parchment paper
Paper towels for easy clean up
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In a bowl mix 3 cups of cold whole milk with 2 packages of FRENCH vanilla pudding. Beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl(preferably chilled) or using your stand mixer, beat your heavy whipping cream until soft peaks. Add in your powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold your french vanilla pudding in with your whipping cream and refrigerate for later use. It's best to make your filling the night before.
Measure out your 1 cup of flour and set aside. Place cubed shortening ,salt, sugar, and water in pot and bring to a quick rolling boil. Dump in your flour ALL AT ONCE. Turn off heat and continue to stir until dough starts to form a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before next step.
Beat in your eggs one at a time, making sure each one is nicely incorporated before adding in the next. Once all of your eggs are in the dough, continue to beat the dough for a good couple of minutes. When you lift the beater, the dough should stream down nicely(but not too fast) into your bowl, leaving a so called "V" shape at the end of the beater.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place a small amount of dough on all four corners of the parchment paper to keep it from sliding around.
Place your dough in a disposable pastry bad fitted with Wilton's #12 tip. Pipe your shells using a circular motion, giving them height as you swirl up. Space your shells at least 1 inch apart from each other.
Bake in your preheated 425 degree oven for 14-15 minutes and then... DROP THE TEMP DOWN TO 350 DEGREES for another 14-15 minutes!! DO NOT OPEN YOUR OVEN DOORS FOR ANY REASON!!!
Once shells are done, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool before filling.
Take your paring knife and pierce the sides of the shells to allow for easy filling. If you are right handed, pierce the right side of each shell so you don't forget where you have pierced a whole in each one. Take another disposable bag and fit it with Witlon tip #22. Add in your COLD filling into the piping bag and begin to fill each shell. LESS IS MORE!! Have a clean dish towel or paper towels handy just in case it get's messy. Wipe the tip often for a cleaner fill. And try not to lick any filling off of the creme puff or your fingers during this time. It really isn't sanitary if you plan on feeding others. :)
Total baking time: 28-30 minutes.
Please visit my new channel on youtube to learn how I make these delicious mini cream puffs!!