Delicious Puff Pastry Treats: Sweet And Savory Cream Cheese Recipes

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Cream cheese and puff pastry are a match made in culinary heaven. This dynamic duo offers endless possibilities for both sweet and savory treats, limited only by your imagination. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a curious beginner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to create flaky, flavorful masterpieces.

The Essentials: Ingredients and Equipment

Spinach Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Pinwheels
Spinach Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Before we delve into delectable recipes, let’s gather the essentials:

High-Quality Puff Pastry: Frozen puff pastry sheets are a convenient option, readily available in most grocery stores. Look for all-butter puff pastry for the richest flavor and flakiest texture.

  • Cream Cheese: Brick-style cream cheese is the preferred choice for baking due to its superior consistency. Soften it at room temperature for even blending.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure and a beautiful golden brown finish.
  • Sweeteners: Depending on your chosen recipe, you’ll need granulated sugar, powdered sugar, or brown sugar. Honey and maple syrup are also viable options.
  • Flavorings: Vanilla extract, almond extract, or citrus zest can elevate both sweet and savory fillings. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbs like fresh thyme or chives can add complexity.
  • Fillings: The sky’s the limit! From fresh fruit and jams for sweet treats to savory ingredients like sauteed vegetables, cooked meats, and cheeses, the possibilities are endless.

  • Equipment:

    A sharp knife for cutting puff pastry.

  • Rolling pin for shaping puff pastry.
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Mixing bowls for preparing fillings and glazes.
  • Silicone pastry brush for glazing.

  • Delectable Dishes: Recipe Inspiration

    Now, let’s get baking! Here are two inspiring recipes to get you started:

    1. Classic Cream Cheese Danishes (Sweet)

    These flaky pastries are perfect for breakfast or brunch.

    Ingredients:

    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • Fresh fruit (berries, sliced apples, etc.) or your favorite jam

  • Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Unfold puff pastry sheet and gently roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a 12×10 inch rectangle.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth.
    3. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
    4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
    5. Arrange your chosen fruit or spread jam over the cream cheese mixture.
    6. Starting from a long edge, roll up the puff pastry like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal.
    7. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the roll into 1-inch slices. Place slices on a prepared baking sheet, leaving space for them to puff up.
    8. Brush the tops of the pastries with remaining egg wash.
    9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.
    10. Let cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar (optional) and serving.

    2. Savory Ham and Cheese Crescents (Savory)

    These flavorful crescents are ideal for appetizers or light meals.

    Ingredients:

    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Unfold puff pastry sheet and gently roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a 12×10 inch rectangle.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cooked ham, chives, thyme, salt, and pepper.
    3. Spread the filling evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
    4. Roll up the puff pastry like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal.
    5. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch slices. Gently shape each slice into a crescent by curving the ends towards each other. Place crescents on a prepared baking sheet, leaving space for them to puff up.