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Sweet Cheese Pastries with Apricot Glaze

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The sweet yeast dough in this recipe can be used for all kinds of different morning pastries, like these cheese-filled sweet rolls, reminiscent of the cheese Danishes from your local bakery. Make the dough the night before so that assembly is easy the next day.


Sweet Cheese Pastries with Apricot Glaze

For the sweet yeast dough:

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) whole milk

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) granulated sugar

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 large eggs

1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) quick-rise yeast

5 cups (25 oz./780 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed

1 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

5 oz. (155 g.) cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g.) ricotta cheese

1 1/3 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Flour for rolling out the dough

1 large egg, beaten

1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) apricot preserves

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, sugar, butter, eggs and yeast. Add 4 1/2 cups (22 1/2 oz./705 g.) of the flour and the salt. Place the bowl on the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed, adding as much of the remaining flour as need to make a soft dough that does not stick to the bowl.

Remove the paddle attachment and fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is smooth but still soft, 6-7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

Butter a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat with the butter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2-2 hours. (Or, punch down the dough, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Punch down the dough and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.)

In a bowl, using a handheld mixer on low speed, combine the cream cheese, ricotta, 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) of the sugar, and the vanilla. Stir in the lemon zest. Set aside.

Cut the dough in half. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the dough halves into a 15-by-10-inch (38-by-25-cm.) rectangle. Cut into six 5-inch (13-cm.) squares. Set aside and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a dough square in front of you, with a point at the top. Place a generous tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the center of the square. Take the right corner of dough and stretch it over the cheese mixture; push the corner into the dough to secure it.

Pull and stretch the left corner to the right of the cheese to cover it, and press the corner into the dough to secure it. Repeat with the other two corners of dough, stretching the dough over the cheese to completely enclose it. Repeat with the remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.

Place the dough packets, spacing them 2 inches (5 cm.) apart, on the baking sheets. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until they look puffy, 75-90 minutes.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and another rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat to 350°F (180°C). Brush the tops of the pastries with some of the beaten egg. Place 1 sheet on each oven rack and bake, switching the sheets between the racks and rotating them 180 degrees halfway through baking, until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the apricot preserves and 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Strain through a wire sieve into small bowl. Sift the remaining 1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar into another small bowl.

Stir in 1-2 tablespoons water to make a thick, but pourable, glaze. Brush the apricot glaze over the pastries. Drizzle with the sugar glaze. Let stand until the glaze sets, 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 pastries.

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Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

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These buttery, bacony cheesy scones are heaven in one easy bite. Perfect for brunch, they would also make for a great lunch alongside a bountiful salad. To take these scones over the top, add a pinch of grated cheese to the top of each one before you slide them into the oven.

 

Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

3 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon

2 cups (10 oz.⁄315 g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) grated Asiago or Gruyère cheese

Pinch of kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1⁄2 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg

3⁄4 cup (6 fl. oz.⁄180 ml) heavy cream or whole milk

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a frying pan, fry the bacon over medium-low heat until lightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop the bacon.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, salt, and pepper and pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream until blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse just until the dough comes together.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in the bacon and then bring the dough together into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1⁄2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 1 1⁄2-inch (4-cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can. Gather the scraps of dough, roll out, and cut out more scones.

Space the scones evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Makes about 4 dozen mini scones.

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Yes, Your Favorite Flavor Combos Do Belong in Grilled Cheese

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What do pizza, French onion soup, buffalo wings and chiles rellenos all have in common? They all belong in your grilled cheese. Yes, you heard us right: Just about any of your favorite savory flavor combinations, from mozzarella, tomato, and basil to buffalo sauce, blue cheese and ranch, translate exceptionally well into warm, cheesy sandwiches. Don’t believe us? These five examples are sure to convince you.

 

Jalapeno Popper Grilled CheeseJalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese 

Usually we have to come up with an excuse to eat jalapeño poppers, like hosting a game day party. Thanks to Buns in My Oven, who transformed the prep-heavy appetizer into lunch form, we don’t have to anymore.

 

Buffalo Chicken Grilled CheeseBuffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese 

This hot wing-inspired work of sandwich art—sourdough, buffalo wing sauce, gorgonzola, beer cheese fondue—created by How Sweet Eats just might be better than the real thing.

Pizza Margherita Grilled CheeseMargherita Pizza Grilled Cheese 

As Cooking for Keeps discovered, the combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil and olive oil—all the ingredients that comprise a margherita pizza—translates exceptionally well to handheld sandwich form.

French Onion Soup Grilled CheeseFrench Onion Soup Grilled Cheese 

Sweet caramelized onions and umami-rich Gruyère cheese are a classic combination, but sometimes it’s just too warm outside to reach for a bowl of hot soup. This is where Tastespotting’s grilled French onion soup sandwich comes into play.

Chile Relleno Grilled CheeseChiles Rellenos Grilled Cheese 

Chiles rellenos are poblano peppers that are roasted, filled with cheese, battered with egg, and deep-fried; Cooking Classy took the traditional Pueblan dish and grilled cheese-ified it.