These are super easy and, as far as I’m concerned, totally worth it. I could eat an entire box of those frozen toaster strudel (strawberries and cream is the best) but check out these ingredients…
Bleached Enriched Flour (Bleached Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic
Acid), Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Soybean, Cottonseed), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar,
Corn Syrup, Strawberries (10% Of Filling), Modified Corn Starch, Dry Yeast, Salt, Dextrose, Whey, Egg Yolks, Baking Powder (Baking
Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Corn Syrup Solids, Citric Acid,
Mono-Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Potassium
Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Natural And
Artificial Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Polysorbate 60, Colored With (Red 40, Blue1,
Excuse me, but, WTH is locust bean gum? (it actually has nothing to do with locust it just sounds terrible)
It seems like there are more chemicals than anything else and did you notice there are four different kinds of sugar?!? Strawberries only 10% of the filling? You’ll also notice the last ingredient is the dreaded artificial dyes. Arguably, the worst of the bunch being the hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils have a much longer shelf life than non but they also contain trans fatty acids. We all know those are bad. It’s troubling, too, that the oils used (soybean and cottonseed) are more often than not derived from genetically modified crops. Which, in case you haven’t heard, is pretty terrible for human consumption.
I could go on and on about how bad this stuff is but I’ll spare you. 🙂
Instead, I’d like to give you an easy alternative with a shorter list of more desirable ingredients (all of which you should be able to pronounce).
You could make all of this from scratch…but, puff pastry takes FOREVER so buying it premade is the way to go (unless you enjoy prolonged kitchen torture). Just be careful which brand you buy. Look carefully at the ingredients. Pepperidge Farm’s frozen puff pastry contains all the nasty crap above so its best to avoid. The ingredients of a good puff pastry should be: flour, butter, salt, sugar, and water. Trader Joe’s and Dufour are good brands.
You could make your own jam too but there are plenty of natural, organic, low sugar blah blah blah brands out there so just peek around. Though, when strawberries are in season it is much much cheaper (and tastier!) to just chop up a few cups and cook them down with a bit of lemon juice, water and sweetener is optional (honey is good to add at the end). I used some jam that I canned myself earlier that day.
To make your little lovelys you’ll need:
1 pkg cream cheese sofented at room temp
1 pkg puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed according to pkg
(about) 1 cup of strawberry jam
some sort of flavorful liquid (specific, I know) What I mean is, I used buttermilk which I had on hand (not the stuff from the store which is made with a culture…actual buttermilk which was the result of making my own raw butter. I’m clarifying because they taste nothing alike and I’m not sure the store-bought kind would taste very good here. Or maybe it would?) You could also use milk, cream or lemon juice.
a dash of vanilla extract
Mix together the cream cheese and enough powdered sugar to sweeten it just slightly. Lightly flatten your sheets with a rolling pin then cut each one into 6 equal rectangles. Top 6 of your rectangles with a small amount of jam and the cream cheese mixture making sure to keep it at least 1/4 of an inch from the edges. I used about 1 TBSP total to fill each one. Top them with the 6 remaining rectangles and use a fork to seal the deal. With a small sharp knife make 2 or 3 small slashes across the top to vent. Bake them at 350 until puffy and lightly golden. While they are baking, mix some powdered sugar with vanilla extract and your liquid (adding liquid gradually while stirring) until you have a thin enough mixture to drizzle but thick enough not to run off the pastry too much. Top your pastries with the icing as you eat them (you don’t want to store it already iced).
Store them in the fridge. For reheating I suggest a cookie sheet in the oven just until warm. Mine were way too fat to fit in my toaster. You could instead freeze the pastries raw and thaw then bake individually as needed. Or freeze them after baking and then reheat.
***SIDE NOTE. If you use pie crust dough instead of puff pastry you have yourself a poptart. Instead of slashing the top crust just use a fork to poke a few holes in it before you put it on top of the other one. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer too and work well in the toaster!
I recommend eating one (or 5) of these straight out of the oven. I’m certain this is what heaven actually tastes like. When you’re done scarfing go reapply that lipstick 😉