I love to read food blogs, and I often try recipes from them. One of my favorites is my friend, Janie's blog: Panini Girl. We have met twice at her southern California home, and have a weekend planned to get together in Palm Desert in March.
Janie's recipe for these Sweet Cheese Puffs came from a very old Bon Appetit. They looked so luscious, I drooled over the photo, and a week later, I made some to share with the planning committee in San Diego. They seemed to disappear!
Sweet Cheese Puffs
Sour Cream Pastry
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 pounces unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup sour cream
Put the flour and salt in a bowl, stir to blend. Scatter the butter slices over the flour and then cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small peas.
Stir in the sour cream with a fork. The pastry will be dry. With your hands manipulate the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Shape each into a 5″ square, about 5/8″ thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 4 hours. You can keep in fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for a month.
Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Process all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor until smooth.
Remove one square from the fridge and set aside for 10 minutes before rolling. On a floured surface, roll the pastry into a rectangle, slightly less than 1/8″ thick. With a ruler and a pastry wheel, trim the ragged edges. Measure and cut the pastry into 3″ squares. Repeat with remaining dough.
Lay the pastry squares across the top of a ungreased 12 cup mini muffin pan, centering each square over one cup. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each square, then bring up the opposite corners to the center and press to seal. Ease the pastry into the cup. Roll and shape the remaining pastry squares in the same fashion. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.
Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake three pans at a time for about 20-25 minutes until the pastries are light brown. Remove from oven to a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove pastries from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving at room temperature.
Makes 3 dozen puffs.