Yes, these will be 'Gone with the wind' too! We were out doing our shopping at Sam's Club, and there they were. All cute and delicious looking, staring back at us....chocolate eclairs. Oh how Mr. Bacon and I wanted to splurge on a treat. But at almost $10 for a small pan of them? Really, you know Ma Bacon well enough by now that I just couldn't swallow that price. Especially when I know I can make them cheaper. So I dug out my recipe for them and got to work. Now this is another one of those recipes that look WAY harder than they really are. I was intimidated the first time I made them, and then when I was done, I said- well that was too easy! And they are just too good to NOT try to make!
Here's what you need:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1- 3oz box instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz (about 1/3) cup chocolate chips
2 TBSP butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 TBSP hot water
Heat your oven to 425*.
First start off by melting your butter in water on the stove. When butter has melted and starts to boil, add in 1 cup flour and salt. Stir like crazy until a ball of dough forms!
Take the pan off the heat and add in the eggs, one at a time and mix well between each egg. Your dough will become glossy when you first start to mix the egg in, keep mixing until you don't see the glossy dough anymore.
Take a ball of dough and form it into a rope about 2"x 1" for mini eclairs (for us everything tastes better when it's in cute bite size!), or 1.5"x4" for larger eclairs and place it on a cookie sheet. No I don't have time to sit with a ruler and actually measure what I put on the pan either, I just guess! The dough might be a bit sticky to work with, I found running my hands under water (don't dry them) and then shaping the dough to work well. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Bake 15min at 425*, then reduce the heat to 325* and bake for another 20 minutes. For minis, bake 425 for 10 min, then reduce to 325* for another 10 minutes. Watch them no matter what size you make, when they puff up between 2-3 times their size and turn golden brown it's time to take them out of the oven. Once baked, place them on a wire rack to cool.
While these are baking you can mix up the filling. In bowl mix up pudding and 1 3/4 cups milk. Little boy Bacon was happy to help mommy with this step! In mixer beat cream, 1/2 cup powder sugar and 1 tsp vanilla until soft peaks form. Does this step sound like a lot of work? If so it's ok- that's why they make cool whip too! Save yourself the work if you'd like. Next take the pudding and whipped cream and mix them together.
Filling is done! You can put it in the fridge to firm up a bit before filling the eclairs. I did find this makes a TON of filing, enough for a second batch. If you don't want to make 2 batches of eclairs (they freeze really well too!) this tastes yummy on it's own. Add some diced bananas and graham cracker crumbs for a great snack for the kids (or yourself- shhh... I won't tell anyone!)
Once the Eclairs are cooled, it's time to fill them. I find filling them first to be less mess, if you'd like to frost them first that's ok too. Sometimes if I fill first, then frost some of the filling squishes out.
I used my pastry bag with a no. 10 tip to pipe the filling inside the eclairs, taking a knife to one end first to create a hole for the filling. If you don't have a pastry bag, no problem, you can just cut a slit in the top or cut the eclair in half and spoon in the filling too. Both are just as tasty.
Once filled now it's time for frosting. In microwave safe bowl or sauce pan on stove, combine chocolate chips and butter. Once melted mix in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough water to make the frosting glaze consistency (a bit runny). Dip the tops of the eclairs in glaze and set them back on wire rack to drip off. Place in storage container with lid and keep in the fridge- that is if they actually make it that far! Can you guess how long ours lasted?