Sunday, January 4, 2015

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries

These strawberry cream cheese pastries were my favorite of the three desserts I brought to Thanksgiving (along with caramel apple cheesecake crumble bars and English toffee bars) .  They had the wow factor that I always look for in the desserts I bring to big groups: they're beautiful and look more difficult than they really were.  Time consuming, perhaps, but not hard to make.  Plus, they're delicious; they are basically tiny danishes, which I have always loved.  When I was little, it was really the only dessert I would eat; for some indiscernible reason, I called them hash, and I would order hash at bakeries and confuse everyone.

Anyway, the pastries: the dough is cream cheese- and butter-based, and it basically melts in your mouth.  It's delicate and flaky and wonderful.  Then each little square of dough is filled with a sweetened cream cheese filling, and strawberry jam (I suppose you could use any type of jam your heart desires). They're folded up adorably so a little white and red filling peeks out (these would actually be perfect Valentine's Day desserts... see, I'm not super behind schedule, just looking ahead for you!).

Besides looking cute, these pastries are really so good.  I will confess to keeping a few in my refrigerator, and eating them all by myself.  Mmmmmm.  Sweet, flaky, creamy, strawberry cream cheese pastries.  Just delicious.


strawberry cream cheese pastries
from Diethood
makes 26 - 30 pastries

for the pastries:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
powdered sugar for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the fillings:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
strawberry jam


1) In your mixer's bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.

2) Lightly dust your work area with powdered sugar.  Transfer dough to work area and shape into a ball.  Divide it into 4 rounds.  Flatten each round and cover each round with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  This step cannot be skipped!

3) In the meantime, prepare the filling by combining cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in your mixer's bowl.  Beat until creamy and smooth.  Set aside.

4) Dust work area with flour.  Remove each dough ball from the refrigerator and let rest for 5 minutes.  Roll out each ball of dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into 3x3-inch squares.  Fill the center of each square with 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese mixture and 1/2 teaspoon strawberry jam.  For a prettier presentation, using a pastry bag, you can pipe the fillings, one on top of the other.

5) Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center and over the filling.  Pinch seams together.  I used half a toothpick on each pastry to help keep the corners together at this point.  Refrigerate for 1 hour, and then remove toothpicks before baking.

6) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 10 - 11 minutes, or until edges are browned.  Cool completely. Store pastries in airtight containers in the refrigerator.  They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

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