Last week, in my first PuffectionTM Holiday Entertaining challenge from Pepperidge Farm post I mentioned I would be sharing another recipe this week. An original one, created and dreamed up by yours truly for you, my lovely readers. I told you it would be on the sweeter side since last week I went savory with the Asparagus Prosciutto Spirals. (Yeah, I know, color you not shocked in the least!).
I have to tell you… I’m awfully proud of this one. I hope you will be too. It isn’t necessarily earth shattering, but it is satisfying and simple. Sometimes I think that is where true genius resides. The internal conversation I had with myself when dreaming up this recipe and trying to decide what to make went something like this…
ME: “Remember how you are always wanting something sweet on Christmas morning?”
SARCASTIC ME: “As opposed to every other morning?”
ME: “Funny…. moving on.”ME: “ANYWAY… you should come up with something ridiculously easy, sweet and super fast to make.”
SARCASTIC ME: “You think? Not like the time you set the oven on fire on Christmas morning, huh?”
ME: “I thought we agreed never to speak of that again. You’re really no help at all.”
SARCASTIC ME: “I just call it like I see it.”
ME: “And again, MOVING ON!?!”
SARCASTIC ME: “Whatever you say, boss.”
ME: “I’m not even going to dignify that with a comment…….”
Please don’t think I’m totally insane, but yes, I really do hold conversations like this with myself in my head. This is what happens when in general the only adult I get to converse with on most days is myself. Needless to say I have a *rich* imagination.
Anyway, I kept thinking about all the things I love about Christmas morning breakfast… and what I don’t. I don’t love having to make it in the midst of when I want to be watching my kids. Seriously, I love breakfast and brunch. I love the idea of making it special, but I really want to just have something ready to go or super easy to make that is special, satisfying and keeps me from working too hard and missing the action.
I think I’ve pretty much nailed it here. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get the phrase “visions of sugar plums” out of my head. Yeah, they were dancing around in there (you knew there was a bad pun coming from me there).
What I wanted to make was a breakfast pastry that was easy, used m
inimal ingredients and could be made with things pretty much on hand, assembled the day before (or that morning if you want since it only takes about 10 minutes tops – seriously). I wanted to be able to have something warm from the oven though, without all the work or having to get up really early to let dough rise or anything like that.
So what we ended up with here is a sheet of puff pastry, filled with a cream cheese mixture with a hint of vanilla down the center of the pastry, then layered with a slathering of some really good plum jam (you could use any jam or marmalade you like here!).
The other two sides are then folded over the top of the filling, brushed with a little egg wash and sprinkled with a generous amount of sugar to make a nice crust when baked. The dough is scored a few times to vent the whole thing, the ends are pinched together to hold that filling in, and done.
Did I mention you can assemble the whole thing directly on the baking sheet? Yeah, pretty much no cleanup, and only one bowl to mix the cream cheese in that I just reused to stir the jam, then the egg wash.
Stash the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight or bake it right away. Whatever. It doesn’t mind. Bake it up and in about 20 minutes you have a warm, festive pastry to serve with your breakfast feast. Might I suggest your Christmas morning / Holiday breakfast menu this year could look something like this? Here’s what ours is going to be anyway:
- Sugar Plum Puff Pastry – puff pastry filled with vanilla cream cheese and plum jam, with a sugar crust
- Fresh fruit, cut and stored the day before, with whipp
ed cream or granola and yogurt for parfaits
- Scrambled eggs with cheese
- Hot Chocolate from homemade gourmet mixes (maybe the Salted Caramel White Hot Chocolate, or maybe the Dark Chocolate version… more on those soon!)
Don’t forget, Pepperidge Farm has created their own PuffectionTM tab on their Facebook page, where you can share your own holiday Puff Pastry recipes. Need inspiration? You can also visit www.puffpastry.com for more recipes, tips and how-to videos. There are plenty of ideas to get you started or just make that are tried and true.
Sugar Plum Puff Pastry
Recipe created by Holly at pheMOMenon.com for Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry
1 sheet frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, thawed but still cold
1 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
4 tablespoons cane sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup plum jam or other thick jam or marmalade
2 teaspoons hot water, divided
On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat or foil, unfold and lay out the puff pastry, set aside. If the pastry is cold, allow it to soften a bit before unfolding it so it doesn’t tear. Once it is opened, use a lightly floured rolling pin or sprinkle it with a bit of flour just enough to smooth out the creases a bit. The dough should be pliable, but not too soft.
In a small mixing bowl add together the softened cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, vanilla, egg yolk and flour and use a hand mixer or egg beater to combine until thick and smooth. Scrape this mixture out onto the center third portion of the puff pastry down the middle and spread it evenly, leaving the two outer thirds bare.
In the same bowl you mixed the cream cheese, whisk together the jam with the teaspoon of hot water to make it easily spreadable. Scrape this out onto the cream cheese layer on the puff pastry and spread it evenly over the cream cheese layer.
Fold one of the thirds over the cream cheese and jam layer to cover it completely. Fold the other third from the opposite direction over this, pulling slightly to tuck the layer under the entire pastry. Press down on the ends of the long rectangular pastry to seal in the cream cheese and jam.
Whisk the egg white together with 1 teaspoon water just a little to combine. Brush this over the entire pastry. Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar evenly and generously over the egg washed pastry. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut little vents along the dough.
To bake later, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and store int the refrigerator until ready to bake.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the pastry till puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes depending on whether it just came out of the refrigerator or not. The colder pastry will take a few minutes extra.
Cut into slices and serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
NOTE: There are two puff pastry rectangles per box. The filling recipe easily doubles and can the pastry can fit side by side on one large baking sheet with about 2 inches in between without any trouble.
DISCLAIMER: Pepperidge Farm® has provided me with a stipend for time and any materials invested in participating in their Pepperidge Farm® Puffection TM Holiday Entertaining challenge. The recipe above comes from their website. All photographs were taken by me and all opinions about the recipe, product and my thoughts in this post are as always 100% my own.