Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cream Cheese Pastry Dough for Parties! (or whenever)

Hi everybody! How was your day? I spent mine cleaning and organizing everything I took to/made for the craft fair, I hung ornaments on one of the trees on our property out by the road, and I helped Ben with a bonfire that actually ended up failing. Too wet and windy! I mucked about with him in the mud, wearing my green rain boots though, and that was fun. Christmas cards are finally ready to be sent tomorrow, and I've got a full day of work ahead of me! Lots more Christmas stuff to do at the bakery!

I know this is the time when all of those holiday parties start piling up. Lots of pot lucks, family and work gatherings, and people over at your house. Here is an incredibly easy recipe that always impresses, and tastes great! There are lots of variations too, so you can use whatever you've got in your kitchen! That's right, I'm talking about cream cheese pastry dough. You can use it for sweet or savory things! Here it is, just in time!

Cream Cheese Pastry ( by Cathy Burgett)
1 1/2 cups flour
4 oz cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz credam cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces

-In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, butter, and cream cheese. (you can add a few spoonfulls of things like citrus zest, pesto, cheese, herbs etc. at this point. I used cilantro pesto)

-Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.

-Wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill the dough for 10 minutes.

-On a lightly floured surface, tap and roll the dough out to a 1/8 inch thickness.

-Cut 3-inch circles from the pastry. (I used a square cutter, whatever you have around works)

-Pat the circles into small muffin tins. (I put papers in first, just to be sure nothing would stick.)

-Chill the dough for at least 10 minutes in the freezer before filling and baking.

-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375*, fill each lined muffin tin with a sweet filling, or a savory filling.

-Bake the tartelettes for 25 to 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Alternatively:
-Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to about 1/8 inch thickness.
-Cut 3 inch rounds.
-Brush each round lightly with egg glaze.
-Fill each round with half teaspoon of a cooked and cooled sweet or savory mixture and fold in half, crimping the edges with a fork.
-Prick the top of each turnover.
-Chill the turnovers for a least 10 minutes in the freezer.
-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425*.
-Bake the turnovers on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

You can make all kinds of fillings!
Sweet:
Lemon/lime/orange curd
pastry cream
mousse
pudding
pie filling

Savory:
cooked veggies
meat fillings (cooked ground meat with herbs etc.)
Tapenade
quiche
potato with seasonings
cheese

I made a tapenade out of artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, pesto and parmesan cheese. I spooned a bit into each pastry cup and covered the filling with parmesan, then baked.

I also made shrimp quiche tartelettes. First I prebaked the shells for 10 minutes. Then I put one baby shrimp in each shell, then covered it with a mixture of:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg plus 1 yolk
s&p
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp dill

Then they got baked for about 35 minutes. Delicious!

I also made a cilantro pesto to go along with both of these fillings.
Cilantro Pesto:
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 box frozen spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander
olive oil as needed

-add all ingredients but olive oil and puree. Pour olive oil in slowly, stopping often to scrape down sides of work bowl, until desired consistency is reached.

I mixed this into the cream cheese pastry, used it to moisten the tapenade, and mixed it with plain greek yogurt to pipe on top of the quiches.  You could also mix this with some plain cream cheese to make a great party dip/spread! This stuff has such great flavor!

I know that's a lot of ideas, but I'm hoping that you can find a use for this dough this holiday season! Sweet or savory, your friends will love this! Plus, they look so cute! Nobody has to know how easy these little nibblers were to make!

What is your favorite potluck party goody?


Goodnight everybody!

6 comments:

  1. At school in Dec., we take turns bringing in treats to share. I always take Chex Mix (a great change from all the sugary stuff), a big bowl of mixed candy, and a crock pot of hot spiced cider (makes the whole school smell like Christmas). Everybody LOVES the choices--something for everyone! Aunty Mary

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  2. looks yummy- ps love the polka dots!

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  3. This dough will be perfect to use up some curd I made and some left over mincemeat! Thanks for sharing :)

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