I love to bake things for my coworkers. Somehow bringing treats in to work for an early meeting makes the day seem so much brighter. These are simple enough to bake the night before and indulge your family and friends with (almost) homemade pastries for breakfast!
- 1 package of Puff Pastry sheets (I used Pepperidge Farm), thawed
- 2 C. fresh strawberries, halved
- 2 T. water
- 1/2 C. sugar, divided
- 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 t. lemon zest
- 1 t. vanilla
- powdered sugar for dusting
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Be sure to remove the puff pastry sheets from the freezer about 30 minutes before you start making these, otherwise it will split when you try to unroll it. Combine the strawberries, water, and 1/4 C. of the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes to soften. Use a potato masher or a fork to break up any large pieces. Set aside and cool. Meanwhile, lay out the pastry sheets on a cutting board and cut each one into 6 pieces. You should have 12 pieces of pastry that are about 4 or 5 inches wide. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and press the pastry squares into each cup of the muffin tin. We’re going for rustic here, so no need to be perfect. If the pastry seems pretty warm, pop the tin into the freezer for five minutes or so. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry cups are beginning to brown. They may puff up quite a bit. Don’t panic, they will deflate as they cool. If they are way too puffy, just use a spoon to press them back into submission. Beat together the cream cheese, egg, lemon zest, vanilla, and the remaining 1/4 C. of sugar until smooth. Assemble the pastries by spooning a tablespoon of the strawberry mixture into the bottom of each pastry cup. Top that with a tablespoon or so of the cream cheese mixture. Top that with another tablespoon or so of the strawberry mixture. Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake until the cream cheese mixture is set- about 12-15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes or so and remove from the muffin tin to a cooling rack. Cover loosely with foil. Wait until morning to dust them with powdered sugar otherwise the sugar will melt.