I love making sweet miniatures and these are sweetious!
There is nothing that makes me feel better on a gloomy day than to get in the kitchen and start baking. We have had a couple of days like that lately that made me want to do just that. I’m off the 21 day diet challenge that I did with my daughter so I actually tasted one of these before taking them to Garden Club last week.
Several years ago I was looking for a cookbook on miniature desserts and came across Flo Braker’s “Sweet Miniatures” and I ordered it from my local library. I always do that with new cookbooks and then I usually just copy out the recipes I want and then return the book. Your library can get any book you request, it may just take a few weeks to receive it from another branch or even state, but you will eventually get it. After flipping through Sweet Miniatures, I knew I needed that book. So I ordered it off the Internet and when it arrived it did not have all the pictures that the library’s hardback version had. So, I got the book back from the library, copied the pictures from each page and taped them into my new book. NOW, I had a book filled with wonderful pictures of baked sweets.
These are the most heavenly little puffs you will put in your mouth. The sour cream pastry is so flaky and the cream cheese filling makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I made these before going to Austin on a wedding dress shopping trip. I made them up to the point of baking them and then just wrapped the muffin pans in plastic wrap and froze them. The morning I wanted to bake them, I took them out of the freezer while the oven was preheating and then popped them in the oven to bake. So, if you are crunched for time, like many of us are, do them in advance of when you want to serve them.
Sweet Cheese Puffs should definitely be on your next breakfast, brunch or tea time menu. You will not regret one minute of the time it takes to make these.
Sweet Cheese Puffs
Sour Cream Pastry:
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1/2 c. sour cream
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 large egg
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 c. unsifted powdered sugar
For dough: Put the flour and salt in mixing bowl; stir to blend. Scatter the butter slices over the flour and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture consists of particles the size of small peas to bread crumbs.
Stir in the sour cream with a fork. The pastry will appear dry, because the sour cream is thick and doesn’t disperse easily. With your hands make the dough into a ball.
Divide in 3 equal parts. Shape each piece into a 5″ square about 5/8″ thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days; or freeze, well wrapped, up to 1 month.
Cream Cheese Filling: Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor bowl until the mixture is smooth.
Remove one pastry square from refrigerator. Set aside for 10 minutes before rolling it. 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; then measure and cut the pastry into 3″ squares.
Lay the pastry squares across the top of ungreased 12-cup miniature muffin pans, centering each square over one cup. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each square; then bring opposite corners to the center and press lightly to seal. This process will also ease the pastry into the cup. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll and shape the remaining pastry squares in the same fashion.
Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat oven to 375°. Bake two to three pans at a time for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastries are light brown. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove pastries from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving at room temperature.
Note: if not serving the same day baked, stack undecorated pastries in airtight sturdy plastic containers and freeze up to 2 weeks. To serve reheat to freshen in a 325° oven for about 7-12 minutes or until warm; cool slightly, then sprinkle with the powdered sugar.