I originally was thinking of making strawberry cream cheese croissant turnover thingies, but I had a feeling they wouldn't live up to a beautiful childhood memory I have of eating a strawberry cream cheese croissant, so I decided to veer in a different direction -- a savory direction with tomatoes and sesame seeds. These are kind of a like a sesame bagel with cream cheese and tomato, but on steroids. As with anything using puff pastry, these appear kind of fancy, but are quite easy and fast to make (if you have prepared puff pastry), so they're a great thing to whip up for a last-minute brunch dish. —fiveandspice
6 very large or 12 more modest pastries
cream cheese, at room temperature
large eggs (one is for an egg wash)
Salt and pepper
sheets of all-butter puff pastry dough, defrosted
Heat your oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and one egg plus a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Beat until smooth.
On a floured surface, roll the first sheet of puff pastry out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into 6 rectangles. Spread some cream cheese mixture on each rectangle and place a bit of tomato on top of the cream cheese. To make more reasonably sized pastries, fold each of the rectangles over their filling and press the edges well with a fork to seal them, then repeat with the next sheet of puff pastry. To make big pastries, put more filling on each of the rectangles, then roll out the next sheet of puff pastry, cut that into 6 rectangles and put one on top of each of the rectangles with filling, then press around the edges with a fork to seal. Transfer the pastries to two baking sheets.
Whisk the second egg with a tiny splash of water, then brush each pastry with some of the egg wash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
Bake each sheet of pastries in the oven until golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before eating, but these guys are definitely best eaten fresh. Otherwise the puff pastry gets a little sad and the tomato gets soggy.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.