Sunday, February 24, 2008

My First Blog Challenge: Master Baker!

I am happy to report that I am participating in my first ever blog challenge. I've been eyeing a few lately but I wanted to find one that I thought I could handle my first time out, some of them are a bit intimidating. That's when I found the Master Baker blog challenge. The rules were simple - create something with the featured ingredient in it, and that ingredient was cinnamon.

So I set out to create up a cinnamon-esque concoction of some sort. My mind immediately went to something with apples and I began brainstorming a plethora of different desserts using apples - there's apple pie, apple sauce, apple cake, apple cobbler, apple tarts, apple turnovers. Wait, I thought to myself....apples are a little too obvious and mundane, how about another fruit? After some careful thought, I decided on pears. They were similar to apples in texture and I knew they'd work well with the cinnamon. So I began replacing my list above withe pears. Pear pie? No. Pearsauce? Nope. Pear cake? Eh. Pear cobbler? Feasible. Pear tart? Maybe. Pear turnover? Yes!

I love turnovers. Delicate layers of puff pastry wrapped around fruity goodness is my idea of delicious whether it be for breakfast or dessert. But, I couldn't just made a plain ole pear turnover- enter almonds for a little extra oomph. I also needed a yummy icing - enter inspiration from the Peanut Butter Cupcakes I made a couple of weeks ago. I had modified that cream cheese icing recipe by adding a little peanut butter. I decided I could modify it again (sans peanut butter of course) to fit the overall theme. My husband, aka my guinea pig, was my fellow taste tester of the final product. Knowing that a blog challenge was riding on this taste test, I was giddy that he gave the final product an overwhelming two thumbs up.

And so I introduce to you the results of my first blog challenge.....

Pear Almond Turnovers with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
2 medium pears, sliced thinly in 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds + 2 tablespoons (for garnishing on top of finished turnover)

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(This makes enough icing for 2 batches of turnovers)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut puffy pastry sheet into 4 squares.

Combine pears, lemon juice, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar, and 1/4 almonds in medium bowl. Place about 2 - 2 1/2 tablespoons of mixture onto each puff pastry square. Dab water edges of pastry with a little bit of water. Fold pastry over pear mixture to form a rectangle and seal by pressing edges together. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.

Meanwhile, make icing: Combine cream cheese and butter and mix on low speed with hand mixer. Add vanilla and continue mixing. Add confectioner's sugar gradually. Then add cinnamon continuing to beat on low until well combined.

When turnovers have cooled for about 5-10 minutes. Place a generous amount of icing in a plastic resealable bag. Knead icing down into one corner of the bag and snip the tip of the bag off with kitchen scissors. Use the bag to drizzle each turnover with icing. Sprinkle each with extra slivered almonds. Serve warm.


Danielle said...

YAY! I'm so glad that you did this Robin! I have to do it still..hopefully this week I'll get to it!

I'll do the meme again later today when I hope to update more later on!

Diana said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds DELICIOUS! I hope you win!

Cooking and the City said...

Hi Robin, yum looks delicious :-)

DawnsRecipes said...

Those look amazing!