February 2, 2015 | Posted in:Recipes

Nothing seems fancier than a light and airy vanilla cream puff. While the delicate pastry can seem a bit intimidating to tackle, I was able to make the recipes below in about the same amount of time as a frosted cake. And, my trusty stand mixer did most of the work!

Start by making the pastry cream- which allows plenty of time for chilling, while the cream puff shells are baking and cooling. Fans of traditional eclairs can use the rich and decadent Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream, as is, to fill the cream puffs; I prefer a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream. The full flavor of the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste shines and you can interchange the vanilla bean paste and pure vanilla extract in any of your recipes, using equal measure substitutions.

Specks of vanilla bean throughout the filling are from the Nielson-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.

Using the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste in place of pure vanilla extract add a depth of flavor and the specks of vanilla bean lend a pleasing visual cue.

Welcome to the first day of #VanillaWeek, hosted by our friend Terri at Love and Confections. I am so excited about this week-long event. Red velvet and chocolate are everywhere this time of year, and the #VanillaWeek Bloggers have come together to focus on one of our favorite flavors – Vanilla. We hope you join us throughout the week where we will be sharing vanilla recipes from breakfasts, drinks, desserts and even savory dishes! Also, don’t forget to enter below for our big #VanillaWeek giveaway so that you can explore all of the wonderful flavors and recipes you’ve seen! 

Thickened Pastry Cream is ready for the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

Ingredients

5 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
¾ cup Dixie Crystals Pure Cane sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/4  cups scalded milk*
1/4 cup fat free half & half (add to scalded milk)*
1 ½ tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Directions

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed and add the cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens, 3-5 minutes. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; until the custard becomes very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla bean paste, butter, and heavy cream.

Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold. Yield: 2 Cups

*Use whole milk for a total of 1 1/2 Cups. (I rarely have whole milk on hand unless using for numerous recipes. Over the years, I’ve used both skim and lowfat milk, with fat free half and half added to make up the final measure.) 

Recipe adapted from Culinate.com Pastry Cream recipe from Ina Garten

The Silpat macaron mat is printed with handy circles to guide you with piping macarons, cream puffs, meringues, cookies and more.

The Silpat macaron mat is printed with handy circles to guide you with piping macarons, cream puffs, meringues, cookies and more.

Cream Puff Shell

Ingredients
3/4 cup lowfat milk*
1/4 cup fat free half & half*
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
4 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the lowfat milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded and butter is melted. Whisk in the fat free half & half and warm through. Add the flour all at once and beat it with a silicone spatula until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time on medium speed until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip, or a gallon zip top freezer bag with a corner cut. Use the Silpat Macaron mat as your guide to pipe dough into mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet. With a wet finger, lightly press down the piped swirl at the top of each puff. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating half way through, or until lightly browned. Then turn off the oven and allow the puffs to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven, make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

*Use whole milk for a total of 1 Cup. (I rarely have whole milk on hand unless using for numerous recipes. Over the years, I’ve used both skim and lowfat milk, with fat free half and half added to make up the final measure.) 

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork.com Profiteroles recipe from Ina Garten

Vanilla Bean Cream Puff Filling

Ingredients

1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Cup Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream (Chilled)

Directions

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks have formed. Remove bowl from stand, gently fold in vanilla bean paste and 1 cup chilled vanilla bean pastry cream. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip, or a gallon zip top freezer bag with a corner cut.

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Giveaway Collage VanillaWeek
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from midnight 2/2/2015 – 11:59pm 2/7/2015

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. Number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Three winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Lisa of Taste Cook Sip not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

 

Please visit these other delicious #VanillaWeek Blogger recipes:

Berry Vanilla and Yogurt Loaf Cake from Take A Bite Out of Boca.
Vanilla Glazed Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits from Frugal Foodie Mama.
I Love You Strawberry Cake from Hip Foodie Mom.
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Casserole from It’s Yummi.
Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Vanilla Balsamic Roast Chicken Thighs from Pineapple and Coconuts.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes & Kale Chips.
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries from {i love} my disorganized life.
Vanilla Cinnamon Candied Pecans from Big Bear’s Wife.
Vanilla Macarons from Love and Confections.
White Chocolate Dipped Snickerdoodles from Life Tastes Good.

Disclosure: Nielsen-Massey, Dixie Crystals, Bob’s Red Mill, Silpat and Quirk Books provided items to test, use and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

I enjoy writing about and participating in the food, wine and culinary scene in Central FL in my off hours. I started Orlando Uncorked, a local non profit wine education group, to promote the approachability of wine and donated our event proceeds to local area charities. The popular wine tasting events grew into structured wine classes and finally, food and wine writing for Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine and The Seminole Chronicle. Thanks for stopping by and if you'd like to join in on my fun, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Untappd, Drync & Vivino @WineChix . Cheers!

53 Comments

  1. Kelly Green
    February 17, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    It’s your goal in life to make me avoid any diet at all, isn’t it?! These look marvy!

  2. Christine
    February 5, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Those look amazing!

  3. chauniqua major
    February 4, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    YUM! Looks amazing!

  4. Melissa Crane
    February 4, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    What a wonderful recipe! Thanks!!

  5. Rebecca
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Vanilla frozen custard is my favorite! Particularly from twistee treat :)

  6. Merry | Sunshine On My Shoulder
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Oh these cream puffs look so wonderful. I can almost taste them now. Gotta get me some.

  7. Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love, love, love a good cream puff, and these look amazing! :) And the flecks of vanilla bean in the pastry cream?? YES.

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 3, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Carie, I’m with you on the vanilla flecks, the Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste is addictive! 😉

  8. Cynthia Stacey
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I like vanilla old fashion pound cake

  9. Shaina
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love how you can see the little flecks of vanilla bean in your pastry cream. These look so yummy!

  10. Linda Bragg
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    My favorite vanilla flavored food is vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

  11. Natasha
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    These look too good for words. I just love vanilla pastry cream.

  12. Christina Thomas
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Wow!! Lisa those cream puffs look divine! Could I order a dozen for delivery? :) I could just imagine these with a nice bottle of bubbles. The perfect evening! Cheers!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 3, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Thanks so much, Christina! I’ll have to make these for a gathering…soon. Agreed on the bubbles!

  13. Anna-Marie @BeautyandtheBeets
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    There is nothing better than good vanilla mixed with bourbon, no?

  14. Becca from It's Yummi!
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love how gorgeous your choux pastry is, Lisa! I can almost taste that amazing vanilla whipped cream filling, too!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 4, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Thanks so much, Becca! Such a yummy treat, that Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste shines through.

  15. Kristen
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I like vanilla custard.

  16. Terri/Love and Confections
    February 3, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    These look amazing! I bet they tasted even better than they look. So glad you could join in on the fun this week!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 4, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Terri, thanks so much for inviting me to join. What a wonderfully flavorful week, so much more to come!

  17. Melanie
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I don’t even like cream puffs (gasp! I know) and these look so amazing that I’m craving cream puffs now! Whoever decided Vanilla Week needed to happen is a genius!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 4, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Melanie, You could totally use this delicious pastry cream, in either form in a fruit tart or parfait. #NomNom

  18. Robert Morella
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love cream puffs – fun to make!!!

  19. Michelle S.
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love cream puffs. If I had a mixer, I’d totally make these. Pinning for future reference. =)

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 4, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Michelle, I’ve made via the stirring method, just takes a bit longer. Consider it your arm work out for the day. (not kidding) 😀

  20. Susan Young
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Love, love, love vanilla bitterness icing on a white or yellow cake!

  21. Marion@Life Tastes Good
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Your cream puffs are lovely and you make it look so easy, Lisa. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I see you are in Central FL – me too! I’m east of you on the coast :)

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 4, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Marion, we should have traded goodies! Thanks so much for swinging by, virtually. :)

  22. Marilyn TenBrink
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Love Vanilla Pound Cake!!!

  23. Karen
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    If you ever need a taste-tester, I volunteer wholeheartedly! These remind me of the creme puffs I used to eat in Japan (called “Shu-cream”). There is such a boom in JP over international sweets and pastries, and your recipe sounds fab!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 2, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Karen, Thanks for the idea! Next year I will host a #VanillaWeek party with my batches of goodies. You can bet you are at the top of the list!

  24. Rachel @ {i love} my disorganized life
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    I love how the vanilla bean speckles show- gorgeous! I haven’t made cream puffs in ages, but this has inspired me to- they look delicious!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 2, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Rachel, Thanks so much! And a stand mixer really makes this an easy job. Last time I made cream puffs I did all that stirring by hand! #NeverAgain

  25. Liz
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Oh, I love cream puffs! And your vanilla pastry cream is the perfect filling!

  26. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    February 2, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Lisa, these cream puffs are perfection!!! I’ve always wanted to try making cream puffs!! totally pinned and can’t wait to try!! here’s to Vanilla Week!!!

    • Lisa Wilk
      February 2, 2015

      Leave a Reply

      Alice, Cheers to #VanillaWeek! Pull out the stand mixer and put it to use, I loved how quickly this came together. Also, I did this batch piping with freezer bags, came out perfectly, no fuss.

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