Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry – The Healthy Way

Back in my former life – the one in which I innocently and cheerfully ate Chillsbury* dough from a can – I loved making a cream cheese pastry dish that always got rave reviews. It was simple. You spread a can of Whillsbury* crescent dough on the bottom of a pan, throw in some cream cheese filling, top it with another round of Gnillsbury* crescent dough, bake it, and eat. I loved that stuff, as did everyone else who ate it with me.

Gone are my days of eating biscuits or crescents from a can. Oh, and can I just pause to say this:  I do not miss that vulnerable and insecure feeling that always came from never knowing when the can would pop open and dough would ooze out. Maybe it is just me, but waiting for the biscuit can pop always put me slightly on edge.   Yeah, it was probably just me. I have can-popping-biscuit-bursting-forth issues, I think.

Anyway, I had forgotten all about this delicious dish, which is crazy, because hello? It does have cream cheese in it. It occurred to me recently that the perfect replacement for Billsbury* crescent dough would surely be my go-to whole wheat yogurt dough. Why I hadn’t thought of using it to figure out a new Cream Cheese Pastry dish, I have no idea. But I finally thought of it, tried it, and here it is. My family devoured it for breakfast this morning, which means that next time, I have to double it for sure!

*name changed to protect the innocent guilty

cream_cheese_pastry

Flaky Cream Cheese PastryYum

Dough:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Filling:

1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup real maple syrup (sugar, sucanat, or honey would work too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

Mix together all four dough ingredients and knead lightly to form a nice ball. Divide in half. Press one half of the dough into an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Whip together the cream cheese filling ingredients. Pour filling over the bottom crust.

Roll the second half of the dough into a square and place it on top of the cream cheese filling.

Bake in a 350° oven for 30-40  minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Allow pastry to cool slightly before slicing and serving.


Tell me – am I the only one here with can-popping-biscuit-bursting-forth issues? I’ll admit it right now, it makes me jumpy just thinking about it. ;)

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Comments

  1. Laura says

    You are awesome. I have been wanting this for a long time. We made it with the canned dough for Christmas breakfast (I mean, once a year I can go all crazy and eat junk right?). Not necessary anymore! Woohooo!!!!! My kids will probably be thanking you in a day or two when we eat it for breakfast as well.

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  2. says

    I used to make a family recipe called “sticky rolls” with canned biscuits. I *hated* the canning popping. I’m totally with you on this one. It was terrifying. Because you *never* know when it’s going to pop! Gah!!

    And this looks amazingly tasty and I’m totally making it next week.

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  3. Meredith says

    No – you are NOT the only one here with can-popping-biscuit-bursting-forth issues!! We are getting ready to move and my meal planning and scratch cooking have taken a hit – and I’m feelin’ the guilt – so I bought some refrigerated scone dough that is made by Immaculate Baking Co. as some kind of middle ground for breakfast one morning. The can popped open before I was expecting it to and I screamed (and somehow the boys didn’t bat an eyelash) (thanks for coming to check on me guys!) LOL (sad side note, the scones were AWFUL & we were all SO disappointed; usually their products are pretty good…)

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  4. Michelle B. says

    You are not the only one with the can popping phobia. I have been known to hand the can off to my husband if it took too long to open. :) This does look good, too bad I can’t have gluten anymore, maybe I will try it with my gluten free blend.

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  5. Heather C says

    I feel like we should start a support group. I used that stuff-in-a-can a lot in college, and when I told my husband that the popping moment always scared me, he just looked at me like I was crazy.

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  6. says

    You are not alone in the can popping fear. Years ago(17 oh my how time flys!) I developed my fear after a can popping incident. I was about 8 months pregnant and doing a pampered chef demo when the biscuit can popped on the table. Gave me such a fright I peed my pants…from then on if I used the canned dough I would keep it in the fridge until ready to use and then when opening always had that pained expression and a tight grip on my kiegle muscles

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  7. says

    Apparently there’s lots of ‘can popping’ phobics out there…lol…and I’m right there with you/them. I used to make my hubby open them but now my girls love it so they gladly take the task from me. If I am forced to open them, I am sure that the look on my face is priceless. It’s usually a eyes-half-shut grimace of anticipation….not pretty ;)

    I can’t wait to try these, they look yummy…and I do love cream cheese!

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  8. Alison says

    Crystal (moneysavingmom) has a butterhorn recipe that is an excellent substitute for the not-to-be-named dough. You can sub all healthy ingredients with excellent results! It freezes well too.

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  9. says

    Do you think adding peaches or strawberries would taste good? I have lots and lots of peaches canned from last year trying to use up. Gonna try to make this recipe, sounds yummy :)

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    C. Dazey Reply:

    I would like to know that too…still need to use up a bunch of frozen peaches from last season.

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    Laura Reply:

    I think either the peaches or the strawberries would taste great!

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  10. says

    I hate that popping can suspense as well! I really do. I thought it was just me, so I’m glad to hear someone else struggles with that too. You are not alone!

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  11. says

    When I do buy the canned rolls or biscuits, my family laughs as I open them. It involves me standing at the edge of the counter, peeling back the paper with my eyes squinched up, and then when I can’t take the suspense any more, I just whack the tube on the counter and get it over with…usually with my eyes closed and half turned away from the whole ordeal.

    Dang stuff!!!

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  12. Charlotte Moore says

    How Funny!!! Maybe a support group is necessary. I too always felt nervous when waiting on them to pop. Do we think it will explode or what????

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  13. Linda L. says

    I just HAD to comment on the ‘waiting for the can to pop’ thing. I am so glad to see that I am not alone in the world of ‘waiting for the can to pop’!! No matter that I always thought I was prepared for it (yes, I used to buy those cans of biscuits too), I would literally jump every time. Funny thing is, I used to try to open the can gently to avoid that heart-stopper. Never worked. So I jumped. And I made the kids laugh every time.

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  14. Ro says

    I wonder why you don’t make your own cream cheese. It’s so easy; just hang up homemade yogurt (made from raw pastured milk) overnight in a cloth and next morning scrape it off – and you have “real” cream cheese; it’s wonderful and of course natural.

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    Laura Reply:

    I do actually make my own cream cheese sometimes. Here’s a link describing how I do it: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/make-your-own-yogurt-and-cream-cheese

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    sa'ada Reply:

    if you strain yogurt, you do not have cream cheese. you have strained yogurt which is also known as greek yogurt or labna.

    in order to make cream cheese, you add cream to whole milk and follow an involved culturing process. see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream_cheese

    i see this mistake a lot of places on the internet. strained yogurt is greek yogurt or labna. you can call it yogurt cheese if it gets really thick but it is not cream cheese. (although it is a good substitute :)

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    Naomi Reply:

    Sa’ada, you’re the first person other than myself who has said this (that I’ve read anyway). All the real food bloggers are telling us that strained yogurt is cream cheese, and it’s not even close. Cream cheese is, well, creamy. Yogurt cheese is yogurt-y. I have made real cream cheese and it turned out wonderful.

    I would not want to sub anything for cream cheese, because what’s so good about cream cheese is that ultra-creaminess, that velvety mouth feel, for which yogurt in any form would not make an acceptable substitute. Emeril Lagasse says it will make a car bumper taste good, and I believe he’s right! :)

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    sa'ada Reply:

    i agree naomi, i wouldn’t want to sub for cream cheese either. it’s sooo much creamier.

    wow, you’ve made cream cheese! ask laura if you can do a post on it.

    just the other day i wrote basically the same post over at food renegade in response to another commenter. and here (http://www.ournourishingroots.com/real-food-101-how-to-make-whey-and-cream-cheese/) there is a blog post with a ‘recipe’ for making cream cheese and whey. go on over and back me up in the comments ;)

    Naomi Reply:

    Okay, Sa’ada, say “thank you, Naomi”. You’re welcome!

    sa'ada Reply:

    thank you, thank you, thank you, naomi! good job!

    Naomi Reply:

    Hahaha,it was my pleasure! Every now and then I’ll get on a soapbox for a couple of minutes I’m back down now! LOL I like your name, by the way. It’s very interesting. Reminds me a Hebrew.

    sa'ada Reply:

    what does it mean in hebrew? i’m always interested to know the similarities between hebrew and arabic. in arabic it means ‘joy’.

    Naomi Reply:

    I don’t know, the name just reminded me of some Hebrew words. So I googled it and found this:

    The name Sa’ada is of Arabic origin.

    The English meaning of Sa’ada is Good fortune.

    There are many indicators that the name Sa’ada may be of Jewish origin, emanating from the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal.

    This was at http://nameyourroots.com/names/report?name1=Saada.

    sa'ada Reply:

    oh, that is interesting. thanks for looking it up for me. i’m going to check out that site.

  15. Cathie says

    That is too funny. I thought I was weird for being nervous about the can popping.
    I am making this tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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  16. Bek says

    Its not just you – I HATE THOSE PASTRY CANS! Oh the nervous anticiptaion! Once they popped I would jump so high I usually knocked something over or dropped the can on the floor and had to start over. Back when I used to get those, I would make hubby open them and he always teased me. It was worth not having a panic attack over it ;) You are definitely not alone!

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  17. Kari Coppinger says

    Trying this sometime soon for sure! Would be good to take to a brunch too (which I have one coming up).

    Glad to see you’ve added “pin it” button. Randy, who recently joined, and I were talking about your site and Pinterest recently.

    Love you, miss you, don’t mind if the whole world knows it! (Or at least the whole Heavenly Homemakers World).

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  18. Courtney says

    A friend of my mom’s was once driving home with the backseat of her car full of groceries and heard a huge POP. It scared her half to death – she thought that someone was shooting at her car! Turns out it was a biscuit can that decided to open up all by itself :)

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  19. Leigh says

    THANK YOU for posting this! That Illsbury “danish” recipe used to be my “signature” party food – everyone asks me to bring it, but I cannot make it for my family anymore. Um. I also melt a 1/2 stick of butter and mix it with brown sugar and cinnamon and pour it all over the top… I’ll have to try with perhaps some maple syrup or even honey mixed in with the butter. I cannot TELL you enough how EXCITED I am about this!!!! YAYYY!!!!!

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    Heather @ Nourishing the Heart Reply:

    Butter and cinnamon on top?! Yes, please!

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  20. Naomi says

    Well, I’m going to be very unpopular her, but I have to say that I always loved popping the can open. I was always disappointed if it popped as soon as the outer layer of paper came off, because I enjoyed banging the can on a sharp counter edge and … oh, sorry, this is probably like scraping my fingernail on a blackboard, isn’t it? Oh well, nuff said. LOL

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    Naomi Reply:

    Um, unpopular “here”.

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  21. Lisa says

    1) My husband always laughs at me when we use those cans, because even though I brace for the pop, I always jump when it comes. Except when it doesn’t come, and then it’s just anti-climactic.

    2) How did you know one of my pregnancy cravings was cream cheese pastry?! I was on the verge of buying some of those premade ones at the store, but I can feel much better about making and eating this!

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  22. says

    GREAT idea. I love this dough! This is my go-to pizza dough (soaked version). It’s so buttery and tasty. Such a great idea to top it with a cream cheese mixture. I’m gonna have to do this!

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  23. LisaB says

    Great idea! And I, too, have peeled the paper away from the can oh-so-slowly to avoid premature popping. But I have rather relished whacking the can firmly with the backside of a cleaver. It’s very satisfying somehow.

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  24. Barbara says

    You aren’t the only one with can popping issues! My hubby laughs because I’ll hold it like a foot away from my body with one eye closed and the other peeking to make sure the spoon is in the right spot. I always feel like it’s going to explode, even though I know it’s just a small pop.

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  25. Kristin says

    I’m a popping can hater too, dating all the way back to childhood. Though, I try to refrain from buying the stuff now. My aunt used to make the processed dough variety of this dessert. Can’t wait to try your version, yum!

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  26. Mel says

    The worst is when the can **doesn’t** pop, and you’re waiting…and waiting…and waiting…

    …and then you have to stab it with a chopstick to make it open. I suppose you could just slit it with a knife, but I guess in my case, my nerves were so wracked (and I think that the last time I used one of those I was about 18 years old) that I just grabbed the first object that looked like it could make its was through half a layer of cardboard can.

    This method of opening those cans is about as annoying as peeling a “too-fresh” hard-boiled egg…

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  27. Allison says

    You are not alone with the can-popping issues!!! When we used to use Billsbury* canned products and the like, I’d either wait for the hubby to be in the kitchen/home from work or I’d grad the longest pair of tongs we own and let those hold that little piece of paper while I shook it until it popped ;)

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  28. Jenny says

    Looks like I’m a weird one. I always LIKED whacking those cans on the counter to pop them open. Like chopping vegetables and kneading bread, it’s good for working off crankiness.

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  29. says

    Sounds yummy! I have a recipe for pumpkin crescent rolls, so I’ll have to try this with that for the crust in the next week or so. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Heather,you put a teaser like that out without sharing? I’m a pumpkin-aholic and don’t just wait for fall for pumpkin flavored everything. I’m ready to hit the print button if you’re willing to share :)

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    Heather @ Nourishing the Heart Reply:

    Didn’t mean to be a tease! :) I use the pumpkin pie brioche bread dough from the book – Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Thankfully, the recipe for the dough is also here – http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/11/18/pumpkin-pie-brioche-and-a-bobs-red-mill-vital-wheat-gluten-giveaway-just-in-time-for-thanksgiving.
    After mixing the dough and letting it rise, you can tear/cut off a small cantaloupe size portion of the dough (about 1.5 lbs) to then roll out for the crust. (That amount of dough usually makes 16 crescent rolls, so I’m guessing you could get both crusts from that amount of dough.)

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  30. June says

    Laura,

    I have to say I am jealous of your crust. It looks amazing and flaky. When I made the crust for poptarts it didn’t quite come out like yours. Do you think I worked it to much?

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    Laura Reply:

    Maybe – I’d say next time go for just a little less flour or a little more yogurt so that the dough won’t be so stiff. :)

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  31. Dara says

    yup, freaked out by the can popping as well! My hubby thinks I’m kidding….but I am not. even thinking about it makes me jumpy. SO funny to discover I am not alone in this…phobia. ;)

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  32. Katie says

    I have always hated the can popping! I am so happy to see a “healthy” version of this – we add cinnamon and sugar on top of ours. Can’t wait to try this too!

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  33. Christi says

    Can this be made ahead? I can barely make coffee in the morning, let alone whip up this little beauty!

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    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never tried making it ahead, so I’m really not sure. I *think* it should work.

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  34. Erin says

    Made this for breakfast today… Yum! It actually looked just like yours and tasted great. I used some fresh squeezed lemon juice in the filling as you suggested. I made the dough up the night before so that the antinutrients could be broken down. The top crust was so easy to roll out on a Silpat and didn’t break apart getting it in the dish– success! A keeper recipe, thanks for sharing. ;)

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  35. julie says

    Does a single batch really serve your whole family?? Or do you make a double (triple?) batch??

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    Laura Reply:

    I double this for my family. :)

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  36. Mandy says

    There are so many of “US”. The ones who squint our eyes and tilt our heads back away from the can waiting for it to scare the daylights out of us!

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  37. Laura D says

    If I substitute milk kefir for the yogurt will it still turn out?

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    Angelina Reply:

    I was just about to ask that!! :-)

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, that will be just fine!

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  38. Amber Dawn says

    Haha! When I used to use those cans, I would brace myself, hold my breath, squeeze my eyes shut, and rip the label off as fast as I could! And half the time, the dumb thing wouldn’t pop open… Argh! All those heart palpitations for nothing!! ;) Of course, then I’d just bang the thing on the edge of my counter, taking out some can-popping (non-popping?) frustration. lol! Thanks for the laugh, and the awesome recipe! I’ve made this and it’s delicious!!

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  39. Ashley says

    I made this recipe for a brunch this morning. It was okay, but lacked flavor for me. If I make it again I will definitely be adding some spices to it.

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  40. says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just made it and loved it. I substituted 1 1/4 c. oat flour, 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, and 1/4 c. almond flour instead of using all whole wheat. I also used maple flavoring instead of vanilla. This is definitely a recipe I will be making again.

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  41. Dana says

    Do you think that adding sausage to this would work? Or would it be too sweet?

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    It should work, at least it would be worth a try!

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  42. Roxanne says

    I’m thinking a little peanut butter in place of the lemon juice would be even that much better!!! Surely, it would taste like peanut butter cheesecake for a healthy breakfast. Think I’m gonna have to give it a try very soon!

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  43. Kareberry says

    This morning just had called for something like this to fill our bellies with. I made this for the first time and decided right off to double it and put it in a 9×13. It’s baking as we speak. Kids are drooling and can’t wait! I also sprinkled blueberries and raspberries on the filling before putting on the top. I will let you know how this turns out. Thanks again Laura for bringing us healthier alternatives and all your hard work you put into these recipes. I enjoy you site immensely! I visit it everyday.

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  44. Kareberry says

    Have an update on that last comment…..YUMMY!!! It was a total hit and we all loved it. Worked out good being doubled and I think I may just put the other half in the freezer for a future morning. Hope that will work. We loved the berries in it too. It’s a keeper! :D

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  45. Andrea says

    Um, no…you are not the only one! I’ve always been terrified of the pop! This recipe looks great – can’t wait to try it on my kiddos!!

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  46. Karen S. says

    I have can popping issues too. I always turned my head away and closed my eyes. I think all normal people can relate. :)

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  47. Stephanie says

    I hate the pop! I finally got smart and let my kids do it…our son especially loves it!
    I also don’t like the price you pay for the crescent rolls. You can pay $3+ for 8 rolls or make them yourself for under $.50 and it hardly takes much more time then sloowwllllyyyy opening the can, so you don’t jump or scream, and separating the thin little buggers.
    Thanx for the recipe Laura!

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  48. Chelsea says

    Could I replace the butter with coconut oil? And what would. E a good substitute for yogurt?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    The coconut oil will work just fine. You could switch to buttermilk instead of yogurt. I would just use a little less since yogurt is thicker.

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  49. Cristina says

    I made this recipe this morning, it was super tasty! I didn’t have yogurt on hand, so I subbed sour cream and buttermilk, it worked like a charm! I also put a layer of jam and some chopped pecans straight to the dough, before adding the cream cheese mixture. Yummy!!!

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  50. Jenny says

    Ok someone please tell me how to make homemade crescent rolls!!!! Saw it mentioned in a comment above. Really new to grinding grain so still figuring things out, but my kids BEG for crescent rolls!

    [Reply]

    Nia Hanna Reply:

    You could try this and see if it suits you.
    http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/whole-wheat-butterhorns-real-food-makeover
    After reading the ingredients list on the blue can of crescent rolls I mixed up my favorite biscuit
    recipe & kneaded the dough in an attempt to get closer to the canned version. I have to say I can’t recal ever tasting the canned rolls, so I can’t compare them to homemade. I was however very pleased with the result.

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  51. Amanda says

    Has anyone tried freezing this recipe? Would it freeze well?
    After baking would it be easier to slice into pieces then freeze, or freeze as a whole?
    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. It might come out mushy and not as flaky. :)

    [Reply]

  52. Shauna says

    Made this pastry this evening, and the cream cheese filling was clumpy looking. Did I do something wrong perhaps? Tasted ok, but it didn’t look very pretty!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sometimes the cream cheese is clumpy if it is an off brand (walmart cream cheese never smooths out for me). Or, it could be that it curdled somehow. So glad it still tasted okay!

    [Reply]

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