Nellie, (that’s what I call my mom, for my new followers this is explained in my blog post, “Your Spiritual Gift“) she made up this delightful dessert about 20 years ago. (yes mom, that’s right) The first time I sunk my teeth in this buttery flaky sweet dessert I thought “that’s it, Nellie just created the best dessert on the planet hands down!” This pastry has all the elements of a perfect dessert. It’s flaky, has a sweet glaze, any filling you put in the middle works, it’s fast to make, and it’s just plain darn delightful! But, the most important thing about this dessert, it’s always, and I mean always a hit!
In high school I had a math teacher that I brought a pastry to one morning. (I can hear you all calling me a brown noser right now!) Yes, I admit it, I was a brown noser and I don’t care either! I’d do it again! I hated math, still do…ick! Well, after Mr. “B” had his first bite of this melt-in-your-mouth pastry he was hooked. And, for some reason I started getting better grades in math…..hummm, strange???? He would even beg for me to convince my mom to make them for him and he would buy them. When I arrived to school in the morning he would stalk me down in the halls to see if I brought him one.
My pastor at church really enjoys these also. I once had to make 150 of these pastry jewels for a lunch-in to honor him for something! (Sorry, Kevin I’m sure you deserved it for some great reason. I just don’t remember what?! I just remember the food!) Matter of fact I just made these for a treat during a church meeting and Kevin was the first to devour one! I gave him the remaining on the plate to take home to his dad. Pastor Kevin has an incredible sweet tooth, so I thought! I met his dad and we hit it off right away because I gave him some cookies! He has even a bigger sweet tooth then Pastor Kevin and I both! I like it!
This dessert does have a small yet easy technique to learn “pinch & fold” but, once you get this down, you’re golden! Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, and I start collecting the puff pastry in my freezer for my up coming orders. I make these by the dozens, in all flavors. So, I’m sharing one of my catering recipes with you all and I hope you cherish this recipe created by Nellie. Or in Rudy’s words, “My Nonna.”
There are only four ingredients to this dessert! But, the way these taste you would swear they were shipped overnight express mail by a culinary genius straight from a small village in France.
1 Box of Puff Pastry Sheets
1 can of Cherry Pie Filling (or whatever choice you might want)
4oz of Cream Cheese
Preheat oven to 375. In a box of puff pastry there is two full sheets. Do not unfold. Cut each folded sheet in half. Now, unfold and cut down the middle again. You will end up with 8 equal squares. Place a dollop of cream cheese in the middle of each square. Then top the cream cheese with a tablespoon of pie filling. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Pinch together the opposite corners, then pinch and fold the sides to seal. Refer to the pictures above. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Each little pastry purse will “puff” up and some might break their seal. This is normal especially if this is your first time making these. Don’t consider this a mess-up! Believe me, just slap on some frosting and no one will know. Besides, they look more homemade when the filling bubbles out! It all taste the same no matter what they look like!
11/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Milk or Cream
1 splash of vanilla or Almond extract
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over warm pastries.
Other ideas for fillings:
*Pineapple filling with toasted coconut on top
*Peach pie filling and cream cheese taste just like “peaches & cream”
*Pumpkin butter, instead of using cinnamon, use pumpkin pie spice
*Raspberry filling with lightly toasted almonds on top of the frosting
Or try something savory like a breakfast pocket with scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. I would sprinkle with cheese then bake.
Chicken pot pie filling, beef stew, salmon then use the dill cream cheese…..could go on and on! Enjoy!