1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups whipping cream
Peppermint Whipped Cream Filling, if desired
2 cups whipping cream
¼ cup granulated or powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 or 6 drops red or green food color
Heat oven to 400ºF. In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour; reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at once; continue beating until smooth.
On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool away from draft, about 30 minutes.
Make one of the fillings (directions below). Cut off top third of each puff and pull out any strands of soft dough. Fill puffs with filling; replace tops. Cover; refrigerate until serving. Store covered in refrigerator.
Eggnog Fluff Filling: In large bowl, beat pudding mix, milk, rum extract, nutmeg and ginger with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Add whipping cream; beat on high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Fill puffs. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar or brush tops with light corn syrup and sprinkle with colored sugar or nonpareils.
Peppermint Whipped Cream Filling: In large bowl, beat ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill puffs. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
A little puff pointer: Make sure the cooked dough is still warm when you drop it onto the cookie sheet. Not to worry, it’s supposed to be a little sticky and paste-like.
Omit the filling and frosting, and fill with ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, berries or whipped cream. Dust with powdered sugar, or drizzle with purchased chocolate sauce.
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