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Rules and Structure

June 7, 2011

I’m a rule follower. I know that sounds a little like a confession and I suppose it is. I envy “fly by the seat of their pants” kind of people, the ones who can “just go with the flow”. I need the structure created by budgets, spreadsheets and calendars. It’s a way to chart the course.

What’s that got to do with cooking? It’s the need to follow a charted course that kept me from being able to take a written recipe and change it up to suit my tastes. Thankfully I’ve gotten over that and this coffee cake is the result of a little bit of going “off-road” with a recipe, and I’m pleased with the results.

Almond Cream Cheese with Raspberry Jam Pastry

Makes 2 danish pastries – Serves 12

I used homemade raspberry jam for this but store bought will be just fine. The nutrition information is based on Smuckers Raspberry Jam. Also, I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese (original) because I had that on hand, but 1/3 fat would work as well.

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup raspberry jam, divided
2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine cream cheese, egg, sugar and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed, until well blended.

Unfold pastry dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make slits in the pastry dough, one inch apart on the long sides of the pastry. Using the fold lines as a guide, cut just about to the fold for each slit.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough, using the fold lines as a guide. Leave about 1/2 inch of pastry visible at each end. Reserve remaining half of cream cheese mixture for the second pastry. Spread 1/3 cup raspberry jam over the cream cheese. Crisscross the cut strips over the filling, alternating sides. Bring the strips all the way across the filling to wrap it.

Prepare the second pastry sheet in the same manner, using the remaining cream cheese mixture and topping with the remaining 1/3 cup jam.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Nutrition Information:

Weight Watchers PointsPlus – 6

Calories – 278
Total Fat – 17 g
Saturated Fat – 10 g
Cholesterol – 23 mg
Sodium – 210 mg
Total Carbohydrates –15 g
Dietary Fiber – 0 g
Sugars – 2 g
Protein – 5 g

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