Monday, November 24, 2008

My favorite new holiday recipes

First, a disclaimer. With our allergy issues, we do mostly from-scratch cooking. This is great, and it has helped me become a better cook, etc, etc. Whatever. At holiday time, I am a mom with three kids under five, and I take any shortcuts I can find. I like these enough not to bother to ever do a completely from scratch version.

In the refrigerated section with the croissant dough, they have cans of Recipe Creations dough, which is just the croissant stuff without being pre-cut. A can of croissant dough would work, but you'd just have to pinch it together where it has been pre-cut. Again, this is about shortcuts. Puff pastry would be far better, but is more expensive, and I am cheap.

You also need cream cheese, sugar, a few more toppings and your imagination. A pizza cutter and a pan for 24 mini-muffins are helpful, but you could make do with a knife and 2 12-count mini-muffin pans. Finally, a couple of ziploc sandwich bags are easier than a spoon. (Reference the previous comment regarding shortcuts).

Preheat the oven to 375. Whip the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended (I use about 1/3 cup of sugar--adjust to your own taste). Unroll the croissant dough and use a pizza cutter to cut it into 24 squares. Place 1 square into each muffin well (the points will spill out a little. That's OK). Now the fun part! The kids loved helping with these.

Mix any desired flavorings into the cream cheese mixture, then put it into a baggie. Cut the corner of the baggie and squirt it into each croissant square. Add your favorite topping and bake for 15 minutes. Remove each little pastry and place on a rack to cool so that they don't get soggy.

There are so many possibilities. We added a splash of Godiva cappuccino liqueur to the cream cheese and topped it with dark chocolate chips. Yummmmmmmm. This morning we just did a vanilla cream cheese with wild blueberries on top (Ariana's favorite) and the same vanilla mixture topped with a homemade pumpkin pie filling (Joel's favorite). I want to try some almond cream cheese mixture with a cherry topping, too. Or peaches or apricots with nutmeg or cinnamon in the cream cheese? Apples, of course. Maybe a chocolate cream cheese mixture with a caramel in each one would be good, too. You could also do a savory version with ham and provolone (maybe a hint of mustard?), or maybe a sausage with red peppers, onions and cheddar...

I think further experiments are definitely in order.


Blessed Mama said...

Yummm...this is why I just can't lose weight during the holidays!!!

Staci said...

I came across this while browsing about. We did something similar for Sydney's birthday tea party. We used the croissant rolls and rolled them up per the instructions. We spread half of them with cream cheese the other half with nutella. Then I topped with either strawberry or orange preserves. So I had 4 nutella/strawberry, 4 nutella/orange, 4 cream cheese/strawberry, & 4 cream cheese/orange. They were a huge hit! The best one's were the nutella/strawberry, yummy :) It would probably be really good (and much healthier) with frozen strawberries that are just slightly warmed on the stove top.
The savory version is just as good. We did deviled ham & cream cheese w/ dijon mustard as a dip and sprinkled garlic salt on top.
Sorry. I could talk recipes all day ;)