Cherry-Cream Cheese Hand Pies

Hey! Look what I found! Those pictures that I claimed were missing? Well, I’m not even going to admit to where I found them. Electronic shenanigans, I tell you!

But I’m glad I did, because I was mighty proud of these little guys. Sure, it’s taken me nearly a month to share them with you (I made them for July 4th), but please don’t take that to mean that they aren’t any good. Just take it to mean that summer got me again and I’ve been busy.

But not too busy….If you didn’t read the NY times article about the “Busy Trap” a few weeks back, you need to do it right. now. It’s spot on and hit on one of my major pet peeves. You know it, hell, you probably do it- I know I do sometimes-it’s when someone feels that it’s necessary to point out just how buuuusy they’ve been lately. Usually, it’s delivered in a tone of extreme annoyance, but lets be honest, they WANT you to know they’re busy. It’s a status symbol, proof that they’re important and wanted and needed.

But the thing is, 99% of the time, we do it to ourselves. We have too many obligations that we’ve assigned ourselves, too many extracurricular activities. We don’t HAVE to be that busy, some things can be cut. We choose to be, because it makes us feel like we have a purpose and isn’t that really what were all looking for? So, my pet peeve is-DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT! We’re all busy and your busy is not more important than my busy, so please, refrain from telling me about it. Or if it’s really unbearable, take a seat on the couch for a night and watch trash and eat marshmallows straight from the bag and drink a whole bottle of wine. You’ll feel better. Kthanksbye.

Whew. Ok, off the soap box, I seem to have digressed. What were we talking about? Oh right! Pastries, and good ones at that! These are perfect fancy poptarts. They start with puff pastry, which, let’s just be honest, makes nearly anything drool worthy and then amp it up with kirsch-stewed cherries and brown sugar cream cheese. A little lemon brightens the whole thing up and you’re left with…yum.

Folding up pastries into little packets like this is almost therapeutic. I love the feel of soft, stretchy dough in my hands. It’s also an exercise in zen, because no matter what you do, some of them will pop open. But in my mind, that’s half the beauty of it. That’s what makes them homemade and they are no less delicious. You can still eat them for a perfect picnic dessert while you’re sipping one of these….

Under some of these…

Cherry-Cream Cheese Hand Pies

Created my….me. Makes 24.

You’ll have extra cherry filling. That’s a good thing.

Cherry filling
4-5 c pitted cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 c kirsch
1/4 c brown sugar
pinch of salt
juice from 1 lemon
1 T corn starch, dissolved in 2 T water

Cream cheese filling
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
juice and zest from 1 lemon

3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

  • Heat the oven to 400°F
  • Combine the cherries, kirsch, brown sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 min, then stir in the cornstarch and cook until starting to thicken. The cherries should be tender, but not mush. Set aside to cool
  • In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth and fluffy. Set aside
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry sheets into 12″x16″ rectangles. Cut into 8 even rectangles using a knife or pastry scraper
  • Brush egg around the edges of each rectangle
  • Dollop  1 generous tablespoon of cream cheese, followed by one generous tablespoon of cherry filling just off center on each pastry rectangle (see photo)
  • Fold in half along the short edge and pinch to seal
  • Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and poke 3 holes in the top of each to allow steam to escape
  • Bake for 15-18 min, or until golden
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