03 October 2011

Eats: sopapilla cheesecake

A while back, my mom described to me a dessert she had at some gathering of her church lady friends. She mentioned how it contained two staples of any self-respecting Southern dish: canned crescent rolls and cream cheese. I nodded and filed it away as something to maybe try sometime when I’m feeling particularly unhealthy.

Not long after, I started seeing the same “sopapilla cheesecake” over and over on Pinterest. And what do you know? Cream cheese and crescent rolls! I took it as a sign.

So, the next time we had taco night at Chateau P, I decided to give the “sopapilla cheesecake” a try, using the recipe here. With some modifications, because a 9x13 pan may be appropriate for a church lady gathering, but not for two people. Instead, I used just one block of (low-fat) cream cheese, and added an (admittedly) heaping quarter-cup each of brown sugar and white sugar substitute. And a full teaspoon of vanilla, because why would you ever skimp on vanilla?

I used an 8x8 pan instead of a 9x13, and used two cans of dough instead of three. And I greased the pan before putting down the first layer of dough, despite directions otherwise at the source, because you should always grease the pan, duh.

Then mix up the cream cheese concoction, and spread over the crescent rolls:

And top with another layer of crescent rolls, pinching down the edges. Just look at what a Southern Lady-Cook you are becoming! Paula Deen would be so proud.

Then, to enhance the Paula Deenity: melted butter. Not melted in the microwave in its metal-coated wrapper, oh no.

After that comes a ridiculous amount of cinnamon over the top, with some more sugar for good measure:

I didn’t measure, because none of my measuring spoons are labeled “ridiculous”. You can figure out how much you want.

Then bake! Mine took a little over 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Looks tasty, right? It was! Well, only in that crescent rolls and cream cheese and sugar are delicious. I think I expected some sort of transcendence of flavors, or something, especially since it was called “sopapilla” and “cheesecake” and it is not really as good as either of those things separately. It mostly tastes about as you would expect. Which is good! Just maybe not as good as it was hyped, to me.

Now here’s the real question: do you serve it as a hot dessert, with the filling all dripping out:

Or cold, like cheesecake? It’s a bit tricky, since the whole point of sopapilla, I think, is the mix of hot tortilla with cold ice cream. But this isn't really a sopapilla or cheesecake anyway, is it? So that’s why my favorite interpretation of this was as a chilled pastry with my morning coffee! Because all the best breakfasts could also be desserts. Enjoy!


Tina said...

Actually, Sweetheart, a sopapilla is just the fried pastry with honey soaked in... cinnamon and powdered sugar, optional. No ice cream mentioned unless it's a la mode. So I'd vote for whipping more air into that creamed cheese mixture and drizzling a little honey on top maybe after baking... and then eating it chilled. Maybe cutting back to 1 can crescent rolls would make it less bready??? I think this could be worked on a little more and surely perfected. ;-)

Shanna said...

well, I've never seen this on Pinterest...yet - so I'll try your version and see what happens. My crescent roll adventures never seem to turn out like they're supposed to. I'm happy that I can use as much cinnamon & sugar as I want!!!!

Heather D. said...

Laura saw this on your blog and requested it when she and Dusty visited last month. It was tasty! Thanks! :)