Friday, June 14, 2013

Recipe: Cream Cheese Croissant Squares

Yesterday I was invited to a pot luck. Naturally, I had spent several days thinking about what type of dessert I was going to make, went to the supermarket to buy very specific ingredients, prepared a batch of delicious bites and took them hot and fresh out of the oven in the morning... and ended up not going. 

"Why? What happened?", you might ask.

The weather forecast had been looking grim all day long, with predictions of thunderstorms and minor flooding. So when, from one moment to another, big fat rain drops started smacking against my window, the wind caused several doors in my apartment building to slam shut, and the sky turned a dark grey that was kind of scary, I figured that my pot luck plans were probably cancelled. And I turned to my dessert, which was making eyes at me from the kitchen counter. In my defense, the situation practically called for a warm blanket and some comfort food. So what can I say... I ended up eating almost a quarter of the dessert, which means a quarter of a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish full of croissant dough, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, pecan nuts and butter. And yet it hit me by surprise when I suddenly got a horrible stomach ache. That was exactly around the time when the sky began to clear and I could have, theoretically, gone out after all. 

Trying to explain to the host why I could not come to her party - because a large part of the dish I prepared for the occasion had landed in my stomach and was too much for it to handle - did not go down so well. Yet it shows how good this dessert was. 

It's sweet, it's crunchy, it's creamy, and it goes perfectly with a cup of coffee. Moreover, I thought it had to be eaten warm, until I cut it into small squares to share with the people in my Friday night class (6:00 - 9:20 pm, whose idea was that?!) and realized that it's even better when cold.

This is what you'll need:

- 1 casserole dish (13 x 9 inch)
- 3 small bowls or mugs
- 1 spoon
- 2 cans crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
- 1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Grease the casserole dish and unroll the first can of crescent roll dough, placing it on the bottom of the dish. Seal up the seams of the triangles with your fingers.

Combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl and warm it up in the microwave until soft. This will take about 40 seconds. Mix well and spread out evenly over crescent roll dough.

Unroll the second can of crescent roll dough and place it on top of the cream cheese. Now, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl and sprinkle on top, followed by the pecan nuts.

The final step involves melting the butter and drizzling it all over. I ended up not needing the full amount, but I think that's because I used a spoon to spread it as evenly and meticulously as possible. I am German after all.

Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Your kitchen will smell so so so good, and it will be hard to control yourself, but remember to let it cool before digging into it. After overeating and ruining my evening I covered the dish and put it in the fridge, where it should keep for a few days until all my friends and doormen and fitness center attendants have had a piece (seriously, I do take my baked goods to the gym).

It is true that I have been spending quite a bit of time in my kitchen lately, but I am not yet at the stage where I experiment and come up with wonderful new desserts all by myself. Apparently, Pillsbury features a similar recipe on its website, but I found this on youtube. In case you need more visuals, here is the video.

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