When I was a teenager I babysat two or three summers in a row for a family with first one and later, two little girls. They didn't have much variety in foods in their home and the parents didn't seem to do a lot of cooking but once or twice a year they would make something that seemed almost magical to me since I didn't grow up in a household that made these; eclairs and homemade cream puffs. I think I could have eaten 20 of them a day. They would make triple batches of them and kept them in their deep freeze. Until then I had no idea you could make eclairs. Ah the joy of pastries! As for cream puffs, they were one of my all time favorite desserts but one that I rarely got unless I went to my Grandma's house as my Mom said she couldn't make them right and only her sister (my Aunt) could.
As an adult I try to make cream puffs at least twice a year and although my family doesn't eat... ok, inhale them like I do, they are a favorite. Once in a while when I want a 'quick' dessert I make this. It's a cheaters version of cream puffs. A dessert when you don't have the time or inclination to make individual puffs. Try it - YUM!
Cream Puff Dessert
1 stick butter
1 c water
1 c flour
2 - 3 oz. boxes or 1 large box instant vanilla pudding (or make your own!)
3 c milk
8 oz softened cream cheese
9 oz Cool whip
Hot fudge sauce
Bring the butter and water to boil in a saucepan. Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball (this will happen fairly quickly). Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition until the dough loses it's gloss. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 for 30 25-30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Beat together with an electric mixer; pudding, milk and cream cheese. Spread on cooled crust. Top with Cool whip and drizzle with warm hot fudge sauce or chocolate syrup.