Crescent Cream Cheese Squares

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Whether it can be called a spiritual gifting or a love language, I’m not sure, but I do know that I really enjoy making meals for other people who have a need for them. So it’s great news that I’ve felt good enough to be able to prepare dinner for someone other than my own family. A friend from our church just recently had a fairly involved surgery that required a longer-than-planned hospital stay, so I was happy to step in and help out with a meal for her family as she recovered. While the dinner choice was easy (a chicken and wild rice soup that is a staple in our home), I looked for a dessert recipe that I had not tried before for some excitement in the kitchen. What I found in my “I have five minutes to pick something” search was a recipe with few ingredients, but lots of promise. With my cooking buddy Ben, we set out to make two batches of the sweet treats: one for them and one for us.

OK, so it’s not exactly a diet-ish sort of recipe, but I’m all for a treat every now and again. I haven’t had cream cheese in the house for quite some time, so I’m OK with an occasional splurge. It’s just how I roll.

Here are the list of ingredients for those readers who are more visual. My picture is missing butter, but that will turn up later on…

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It’s very easy: the first step is unrolling one can of crescent rolls and pressing them into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, and sealing the seams as much as possible. Ben took one pan while I attacked the other. Not a problem.

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Meanwhile, combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until smooth. Ben still has memories of the cheesecake we made together when he dropped an entire egg–shell and all–into the bowl, so he was greatly relieved to learn this recipe was egg-less.

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This just keeps getting easier and easier, don’t you think? Next, just spread the well-combined cream cheese concoction over the crescent rolls, and make sure it’s evenly distributed.

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We unrolled the second can of rolls, but since we couldn’t press them into the cream cheese, we got out our trusty rolling pin, shook some flour on the worktable, and rolled the rolls (HA!) out until they were about the proper size. (I eyeball a lot.) Then we easily placed them on top of the cream cheese mixture.

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The next step was one that I misread–or missed altogether–until I had made some mistakes. The original recipe read to melt butter and pour over the top of the crescent rolls, but I somehow missed that. Ben pointed it out, so we caught it in time. I re-scanned the recipe and saw ‘softened butter,’ so I quickly added butter to the cinnamon and sugar mixture he’d already made. When it wasn’t coming together easily, I slowed down and actually read through the entire recipe (who has time for that?! really!), and that’s when I caught the “pour melted butter” step. Oops. So we improvised. And put the butter, sugar, and cinnamon all in the microwave together. What came out was this buttery yumminess:

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In the end, I actually liked this changed better. Instead of drizzling butter and sprinkling the cinnamon-sugar, we mixed the three together and easily spread it over the top of the rolls in one step. I thought it covered more completely. And that’s the story I plan to stick with from here on out.

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The two pans sidled into the oven without complaint and remained there, in a toasty 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, during which time they turned a lovely golden brown. The aroma that surrounded the kitchen was heavenly. When the timer alerted us that we hadn’t gotten nearly enough done in the 30 minutes we had to ourselves, this is what we pulled out of the racks…

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That was it! They cooled until one batch rode with me to the friend’s house, and the other remained intact until after dinner at our house. General reactions were positive, but the negative comments came from the children I did not expect to like it anyway. Those who tried it, enjoyed it. I will definitely be making this again, but next time I think I will try some changes in the filling. The possibilities are quite endless, with fruit and maybe even some chocolate. Who knows?

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Cream Cheese Square Dessert

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down. Pour the melted margarine over the entire pan. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.

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