Saturday, January 29, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Puff Pastry Turnovers


I've been talking about puff pastry and crying over the fact that I couldn't find it here for a while now.  But now, about a month or two ago, it showed it's pretty face right here at the little local store. Who'da thunk it.  Now mind you, it comes in very typical Norway fashion.  Four tiny little planks of pastry for an ungodly amount of money. But, in typical Jenna fashion, I didn't care one bit and scooped it up.


I've been entertaining the idea of making my own puff pastry, but in all honesty that's a lot of work and a lot of rolling and A LOT of butter and if I have to see (even though I already know) just how much butter is in a batch of this stuff it might stop me from eating it.  But we all know me and just how highly unlikely that scenario is.  I will eat the hell out of it.

So now I have my little box of puff pastry and after telling it how much I love it I had to come up with something to do.  I immediately thought turnovers, or a danish of some sort.  Turnovers won.   

You can make these into any flavor you like.  You can use a fresh fruit filling or a prepared jam.  I bought some strawberry rhubarb jam that caught my eye and  it turned out to be absolutely beautiful in these.  Turnovers are quick, easy and make an awesome dessert.   Strawberries and Nutella?  Oh yes.


Strawberry Rhubarb Puff Pastry Turnovers

1 Large or 2 Small Sheets of Puff Pastry
Jam or Fruit Filling of your choice
Demerara or Pearl Sugar for topping
1 Egg, beaten with a splash of water

Preheat oven to 400F/200C

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 6x6 square, or 12x12 if using a large sheet.  Cut square into two triangles and set aside.  If using a large sheet, cut into four squares then cut eat square into two triangles.  

Place one to two teaspoons of filling in the center of each triangle depending on the size.  Brush beaten egg wash along the edges of half of the triangle and fold over onto itself.  Seal the edges with a fork.  Brush tops with the egg wash and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Sprinkle on demerara or pearl sugar. 

Bake 18 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.  Top with glaze if desired.

For the Glaze 

2 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
Milk, added until desired consistency

Whip together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add milk and whip until it's as thick or thin as you'd like.  Drizzle over warm turnovers.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mini Cheesecakes

 



I was planning on making a normal cheesecake tonight, but I didn't want to bother with the two to three hours it takes to make it and then have to wait until tomorrow to eat it, especially because I just made one last night.  I want cheesecake now!  And lots of different kinds.  So the simple, fast solution to satisfy my immediate need for cheesecakey goodness is to make them mini.

These take about 30 minutes start to finish, plus about half an hour cooling time.  While they are cooling you can throw together the toppings, and those all take about five minutes each.  So one hour and I have ready to eat cheesecake.  Sounds like a deal to me.  These are too cute to resist and so, so, sooo good.  Pineapple? Caramel? Blueberry? Dark Chocolate?  Yes, yes, yes and yes please.





Mini Cheesecakes recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

8 oz (225g) Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Line a mini muffin tin with papers.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, 1 Tablespoon sugar and cinnamon.  Spoon 1/2 teaspoon crust into each cup and press in gently.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg.  Beat until smooth and silky.  Put batter into a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off and fill each cup with cream cheese mixture until just about full.

Bake fifteen minutes, cool in pan five minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and put on a rack.  Tweezers or small pliers really help with this.  I used pliers.  If using chocolate pieces or chips, place them on now.

Put entire rack into the fridge and chill 30 minutes.  Add toppings.


Toppings: 

Caramel - Melt down a handful of Kraft Caramel Bits or any caramel candies with a splash of milk.  Spoon on to chilled cheesecakes.  Chill again to set.

Blueberry - 1/4 Cup frozen blueberries, squeeze of lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon sugar.  Combine all in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.

Pineapple -  1/4 cup pineapple chunks, chopped up, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch, squeeze of lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon butter.  Whisk together pineapple juice, cornstarch and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and let it boil until really thick, stir it often.  Add pineapple chunks and cook one minute.  Take off the heat and stir in butter.  Let it cool a bit.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Banana Cream Cheese Crumble Muffins..Cupcakes...Muffcakes..



Whew it's been a while, I'm a total slacker.  Actually I'm not (yes I am) I've just been busy with working and traveling.  But I'm back, and I come bearing muffcakes.  These are supposed to be muffins, but they are so moist and soft that they are almost cake like, plus they have a layer of cheesecake, so muffcakes it is.  These are reaalllly yummy and easy to throw together.  They would also be great as mini muffins, but maybe a little more dangerous that way as eating just one is a bit unrealistic.  Muffcakes for the win.

Disclaimer:  I can not be held responsible for the crap picture.  I blame shitty apartment lighting and night time baking habits.




Banana Cream Cheese Crumble Muffins recipe from How to: Simplify


For the Muffins:

1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Bananas, Mashed
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/3 Cup (76g) Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

4 ounces (113g) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

For the Crumble:

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Butter, Melted

To Prepare: 

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Grease or line the muffin tin.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl combine mashed bananas, sugar, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract.

For the cream cheese filling, whisk together cream cheese, sugar and egg.

For the crumble, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter until wet and crumbly.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and combine until just moistened. Spoon a small amount into the bottom of the muffin tins, then add a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture to each.  Top with remaining batter.  Add crumble.  Bake 18 - 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Makes 1 dozen.


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