CANNOLI CREAM PUFFS
Serves 35 cream puffs
1 cup water
½ cup (8 Tablespoons) butter
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 – 1½ cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
1½ cups ricotta cheese, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ – ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
melted chocolate, to drizzle on top of the cream puffs, optional
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Cook until the butter melts completely.
Add the flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two. Take off the heat.
You can do the rest of the steps by hand, or use a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment. If you are mixing it by hand, cool the batter for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. If you are mixing the batter in a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), place the hot batter into the bowl and mix with a paddle attachment, until you don’t see any more steam rising up from the bowl and then add the eggs one at a time. At first, the batter will look curdled, but it will eventually become smooth.
Pipe out the batter into 1½ inch circles, about 1- 1½ inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. You can also drop the batter onto the cookie sheet with a spoon or use an ice cream scoop. When I pipe out the batter, I smooth out the top a bit with a damp finger.
Bake for 15 minutes.Without opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for another 8-10 minutes. While the cream puffs are baking, try not to open the oven door, or they will fall and deflate.You will have 35-40 cream puffs.
Cream puffs can be stored (without the pastry cream) in an airtight container for up to 2 days; freeze for longer storage. If you are not filling them right away, use a wooden skewer to poke some small holes in each cream puff, to let the steam escape. This will prevent the cream puffs from getting soggy on the inside.
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