Baked Cream Cheese in Puff Pastry
- Yield: 16 servings
A wonderful alternative to baked Brie, this dish packs lots of flavor. It's easy to make, yummy, and looks like a million bucks.
- 1/2pound bacon slices
- 1/4teaspoon black pepper
- 1medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 12ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2cup shredded sharp Cheddar
- 3tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4teaspoon paprika
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
- 1 egg
- Crackers, mini-toasts, or vegetables
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and black pepper; cook until the slices are translucent. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving 1/4 cup of the drippings in the skillet.
- Place the skillet over medium heat; add the onion and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Return the bacon to the skillet and cook until the onion is richly browned and bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon and onion from the skillet.
- Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl using a mixer at medium speed. Add the Cheddar, Parmesan, dill weed, garlic powder, paprika, and bacon mixture; beat until well blended. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a clean work surface, reserving a 1/4-inch strip to use for decoration, if desired. Place the cheese ball in the center of the pastry sheet and fold the edges over, pressing down lightly to flatten the cheese ball. Arrange seam side down on the baking sheet. Shape the reserved pastry strip into leaves, if desired, and arrange on top.
- Combine the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; whisk until well blended. Brush the top and sides of the pastry with the egg wash, taking care not to let it drip on the parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with crackers, mini toasts, or fresh vegetables.
Recipe by Terry Ramirez-McCarty, Helendale, Calif.