Cheese-Filled Pastry

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Waking up in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee along with a fresh piece of pastry is typical of the European lifestyle. T.W.O. would love to take on that same tradition and bring it to the States. Every day is a vacation, right? Well not exactly, but T.W.O. can help out in the pastry department. Learn how to make this scrumptious cheese pastry that will “WOW” a crowd!

Ingredients

For the Dough:
-2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
– ¼ cup water, lukewarm
– ½ cup 2% milk, lukewarm
-¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
– ¾ cup granulated sugar
-1 Tablespoon vanilla
– 1 egg
– 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

 For the Filling:
-8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchâtel, room temperature
-½ cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 teaspoons lemon zest or orange zest
-3 Tablespoons flour
– 1 cup of your favorite fruit jam or chocolate chips*

*T.W.O. doubled the recipe and made 3 large braids. They used apricot jam, boysenberry preserves and chocolate chips.

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In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm water and the yeast together. Set aside. Mix all the dough ingredients together in a large bowl. (It’s best to use a mixer or a pastry blender) Mix in the water/yeast mixture. The dough should form a soft, smooth ball. Set aside and cover for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

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While the dough is rising, start making the filling. Using a KitchenAid or handmixer, mix the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Finally, add the lemon/orange zest and flour. Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill.

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After the dough has doubled in size, place the dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each dough out into a long rectangle making sure it is rolled out evenly.

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Spread the cream cheese filling in the middle of the dough. Top with your favorite jam or chocolate chips. Cut 1 inch wide strips around the edge of the dough. Fold the strips towards the middle to create a lattice top.

 

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Once completed, cover the pastries and set aside to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.

Right before the pastry is ready to go in the oven, brush the dough with egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar. The pastries will bake for about 30 minutes, but watch them closely so your dough doesn’t get brown.

Ready yet? I think so! Now it’s time to pour yourself some coffee and enjoy your pastry! T.W.O. suggests eating the pastry warm. If you want to reheat the pastry, cover it with foil and place it in a 200ᴼF oven for about 15 minutes.

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Happy Baking!

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Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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 Tired of making the same old cookie recipe? Need a new one in your life? Well, T.W.O. has the perfect recipe for you! Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons! These cookies are so easy to make, only requires 6 ingredients and are so delicious you will find yourself going back for more!

 Ingredients

-2/3 cup flour
-5 ½ cups flaked coconut
-1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-2 teaspoons of butter-flavored Crisco
-2 ½ cups chocolate chips

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together flour and coconut. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are blended. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.

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Place dough (about a golf ball size) onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are slightly toasted.

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Let cookies cool for about 45 minutes. Once cool, begin melting the chocolate by placing chocolate chips and Crisco into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-45 seconds and mix until chocolate becomes smooth.

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Dip each cookie into the chocolate and place on wax paper.

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Slide the wax paper onto a tray and place dipped cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes so that chocolate hardens.  Now it is time to indulge!!!

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