Saturday, May 9, 2009

Remember that cream cheese?

I thought I'd let you in on what I did with all that wonderful homemade cream cheese! I decided to experiment with it by making a recipe where cream cheese takes center stage and can really shine. I thought the recipe was good, but my kids really didn't like it, so next time I'll make some changes, which I'll outline at the end of the post.

Start with 1/2 cup butter (softened), 1 cup homemade cream cheese, and 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (the recipe just calls for whole wheat, spelt, or kamut, but I had this pastry flour and decided to use it), 1/2 cup Rapadura (pictured below), 1 tbsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. salt.
Mix these ingredients together to form a ball. At this point, the recipe says to allow this mixture to rest in a warm place for 12-24 hours. This resting allows the phytates in the wheat to break down, which is helpful for those who have a hard time digesting grains. It also allows the flavor of the cream cheese to "ripen." If a more sour pastry appeals to you (think sourdough bread), let it rest. I let it rest for 24 hours.

The next day, assemble the remaining ingredients:

You'll need: 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts). Also pictured here are the ingredients used yesterday but not pictured above: 1/2 cup Rapadura (sucanat), 1 tbsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. salt.

Roll the dough into a rectangle to a 1/4 inch thickness. Brush this will the melted butter, and then sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts. Roll up 1 1/2 turns and cut lengthwise. Roll another 1 1/2 turns and cut lengthwise, and then do it one more time. You should now have three long rolls.

Cut these long rolls into 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths and bake on a buttered cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes.
These are good, but if you are expecting a sweet pastry, you are in for a disappointment. Because they are sweetened with Rapadura and not sugar, they are not as sweet. I made a simple icing with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to top these, and they still aren't super sweet. I think if I were to make them again, I would only rest them for 4-6 hours so my kids would enjoy them more. I would also probably use sugar instead of Rapadura. Then I think everyone would like them. These keep in the refrigerator or freezer well.


Joanna said...

Huh, I think it sound pretty darn interesting. Especially with the glaze on top. I bet if you added some orange juice to the glaze it would be even yummier. I might have to try making these.

Johanna said...

You should try - I enjoyed them! Just be prepared for the kids to not like them as much as the adults. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing! (Can you say, "More for me!") The orange juice idea sounds interesting. For that matter, you could do orange zest rather than cinnamon for a filling and go with a whole citrus theme!

Joanna said...

Mmmmmmmm, now you're talkin'! Yum-Ohhhhhhhh.

Joanna said...

No cream cheese...waaaaaaaaaaaaaa. :(

Johanna said...

I see a trip to the store in your near future... ;)