Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
It may be tempting to use a stand mixer for the cream puff batter, but it pays to mix it by hand: You need to see when the mixture is smooth and shiny, which will prevent overmixing.
Makes about 8 servings
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and add butter, stirring until melted.
2. Stir in flour and salt, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon 1 minute or until mixture leaves sides of saucepan. Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating with wooden spoon until smooth. Drop by rounded 1/4-cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto a lightly greased (with cooking spray) parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and, using a wooden pick, poke a small hole into side of each cream puff to allow steam to escape. Cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).
4. Cut each cream puff in half horizontally; remove and discard any soft dough inside. Spoon 1/2 cup ice cream onto each bottom half; top cream puffs with remaining halves. Spoon 3 Tbsp. Praline Sauce over each puff; sprinkle with toasted pecans. Serve immediately with remaining sauce.