easy strawberry cheesecake pockets.

with chocolate, if you please!

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wowwweeeeeeeee i have been in the depths of winter hibernation and have forgotten how to exercise this creative outlet of mine. in the midst of general busyness/business/darkness/laziness, i haven't been in the recipe making zooone. well, at least not to the point of photographing them properly - because it's dark & gloomy as shit out!

also that thing called christmastime happened, peter & i went on a long trip to europe,  and we both turned 30.  evidently we spent the entire month of january recovering from all of that, lol. woopsie.

to lift myself outta my winter creative funk and get back into the habit of challenging myself to make random recipes and take real photos (in daylight), i threw something together with a few ingredients i happened to have on hand. frozen strawberries from last summer, a bar of dark chocolate, frozen phyllo pastry dough, brown sugar, & cream cheese.

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and it worked! i quickly put something together, it tasted good, and i didn't completely forget how to use my camera. [lolz jk i've actually been using my camera a ton this winter, just not for a lot of food purposes - but it still it feels like working a different muscle when you switch from shooting portraits to landscapes to objects to food, etc etc. 

while i do not think these little treats (or the photos) turned out to be the most beautiful thing in the world, it still legitimately feels like i came out of a hibernation and took my first few wobbly-bambi-leg steps back into just making stuff for the hell of it. and it feels durn good!

p.s. calling these things "pockets" is kinda grossing me out..... but at the same time i don't feel like using some crazy long-winded 'chocolate strawberry cheesecake phyllo dough crispy thingydoodah' title either.  so - stick that in your back pocket.  BYE!

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Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pockets

Makes 6 Triangles

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll phyllo pastry dough - actually only about 6 sheets (you can re-roll the sheets you don't use and freeze with the other roll that comes in the box of 2)
  • 4-6 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 a chocolate bar of your choice (I used 1/2 of a Lindt 70% Cocoa Excellence Bar), chopped
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I used about 1/2 of a block of lite cream cheese for this)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Layer one sheet of phyllo dough at a time, giving a light spray (or brush on melted butter or coconut oil if you're an overachiever) of cooking spray on each layer. I used about 6 sheets in this recipe.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the large rectangle into 6 equal squares. Carefully place a dollop of cream cheese in a corner (but about 1/4 inch away from the outer edge) and sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar. Add some sliced strawberries and another sprinkle of brown sugar (you want the sweetness to be a bit layered and evenly dispersed). Add the chopped chocolate and more brown sugar if you desire.

Fold the empty corner of each square over the toppings to form a triangle and press down gently to flatten. Lightly spray (or brush with butter or oil) over the tops. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry dough has started to brown and crisp. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack, but serve them warm! They are okay to eat once cooled for 1 day. Warm & fresh is best!

Note: You can use white sugar or whatever sugar you prefer - I generally think granulated white sugar gives a "higher" sweetness whereas brown sugar or coconut sugar gives a "deeper" sweetness, if that makes any sense.  granulated white is more of a "sickly sweet" (sometimes) versus "rich sweetness" of brown or coconut sugar, in my mind...

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& happy february!

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pesto parmesan prosciutto pastry twists.

this recipe post is brought to you by the letter P!

and only 5 ingredients!

(^^^ real glad elmo's episode in that link above was about the potty..haha. i was just going to say how apparently so many great things start with the letter P. i suppose the potty is pretty great in its own special way, too.)

also: peter just asked if what's in that cup was melted butter for dipping..........๐Ÿ™ˆ

oh the things you don't really notice about a photo until the last second.

it was a very bright BEER. i do not dip my pastries in melted butter, and i don't really recommend that to others. but that's your prerogative. [<< ooo, P word]

these twists are inspired by a delicious ham and pesto treat that my mom's friend makes around the holidays. i'd been wanting to twist something up into puff pastry so this seemed ideal! i made these right after christmas and they stayed moist and delicious in a container until new year's eve!

and the eaters of these puffy twists were delighted! it's great when something so enjoyable to everyone is so super easy to make. grrrreat successsss.

just unfold your puff pastry sheets, brush with olive oil, spread pesto, add prosciutto, sprinkle parmesan, twist, and bake!

they come out so puffy and perfectly savory and satisfying. i even cut them in half again after baking, so you can stretch this recipe quite a way and get about 24 little twists.

the puff pastry is soo buttery and delicious...you don't even need a side of melted butter for dipping!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

(please refer to the melted butter mix-up above if you missed that tidbit.)

it was a little bit tough to slice through the prosciutto without it wiggling around. gently press the slice of prosciutto down so it stays in place. a serrated knife actually helped a bit.

then twist baby twist.

and sprinkle with more parmesan cheeeez!

one of the greatest things in life are those cheese crusters that occur on sides of grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, and these twists!

i purposely put cheese on the edges of all those items so it will crisp up into its own little crunchy cheesy side snack.

back in my starbucks days, we'd put the stray crumbles of cheddar cheese that fell off the frozen breakfast sandwiches onto parchment and heat em in the oven for a crispy cheese cruster morsel of delight. i think that era of cheese pilfering is the reason i call those, "cheese crusters...." who said that? what's a cruster? whitney was that you? nicole??

anyhow, y'all should try making these! and you can use this pesto recipe while you're at it!๐Ÿ˜‰

PHENOMENAL! pip pip!

Pesto Parmesan Prosciutto Puff Pastry Twists

Makes 8 - 12 Twists

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 thawed puff pastry sheets (I use Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 - 2 TB olive oil, for brushing
  • 2/3 cup fresh pesto
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 - 8 thin slices of prosciutto

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets (unfolded) flat on parchment paper on top of a large cutting board. Lightly brush the surface of the pastry sheets with olive oil. Spread a thin layer of pesto across the sheets, staying about 1/4 inch away from the edges. Lay the prosciutto slices on top. Sprinkle with a handful of parmesan cheese. 

Make sure the parchment and pastry sheets are on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife or pizza cutter, slice the sheet into 4 to 6 equal strips. Slicing into 6 strips per sheet makes a few more twists, and the size is a little better. I preferred the twists in thinner slices.

Holding both ends of the strip in each hand, begin twisting in opposite directions. Keep twisting until the pesto and prosciutto is all twisted up inside the pastry. Fold over the very ends of the twist and press firmly just to keep it somewhat enclosed.

Place all twists on the parchment paper on a baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. 

Bake for about 13 minutes for puffy, tender twists (as seen in these photos). Bake a few minutes longer if you'd like them a bit crunchier.

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