Sometimes I think Unique Sweets is going to be the death of me. I mean, come on! All those amazing treats. This is my replica of the Brooklyn Kolache Company’s Berry Sweet Cheese (I think that was the name of their pastry). Of course I’ve never eaten one of theirs, but I just couldn’t resist throwing a similar one together since the flavors sounded so amazing.
Whew! As you can tell, this is one of those recipes that has a lot of components. Perfect for the holidays – how can anyone resist the jewel color of those gorgeous berries?!
These are soft (almost like a chewy pretzel at the mall, but sweet) with a pocket of sweet berries and gooey cheesecake, and a slight crunch from the streusel. Just make these!
I know I’m probably just about the only person talking about berries right now – it’s pumpkin season! But I couldn’t resist. I figure I can’t possibly be the only person that spends the summer picking so I can enjoy fresh berries in the winter. Anyone else out there?!
Triple Berry Filling Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of coarse kosher salt
1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 cup frozen unsweetened blackberries
1 lemon juiced (zest before juicing and save for the cheesecake filling)
In a large pot, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
TIP!: Whisking the granulated sugar and salt with the cornstarch will buff out all the lumps so you have a clear lump-free filling!
Add in the berries and the lemon juice. Stir to wet everything. Cook on medium heat on the stove until the mixture starts to boil, being sure to stir constantly once it starts bubbling. Cook for another 3 minutes, or until nice and thick.
If the berries are still too big, mash them a few times with a potato masher. Set aside to cool. Once the filling is cool, place it in a covered storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Sugar Streusel Adapted from Clinton St. Baking Company
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick of salted butter
Pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor until crumbly – like sand. Pour into a covered storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.
It will last a few weeks in the refrigerator – use the leftovers on muffins!
Cheesecake Filling Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of coarse kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon (reserved from the berry filling)
With a hand mixer on medium speed; beat together the cream cheese, cornstarch, salt and sugar until creamy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and zest – beat on low until combined.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Sour Cream Dough Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup of sour cream
2 Tablespoons shortening
3 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yeast, water, and sugar together. Let sit to proof.
In a small pot, whisk together the sour cream, shortening, sugar, and salt. Heat on low whisking constantly until the shortening is completely melted (there won’t be any lumps) – do not let it boil! Whisk in the baking soda.
Whisk the sour cream mixture into the yeast, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the flour until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is soft, and slightly tacky, but not sticking to the counter.
Cover the dough for 5 minutes to rest. Then divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place them on a quarter sheet pan (that’s lined with parchment and sprayed with nonstick spray); gently press them flat. Cover with a damp towel, and let rise for about 45 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Once they have risen, gently stretch out the dough (with your fingers) in the center to make a well. Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of berry filling into the well, pipe (or spoon) in about 1/2 Tablespoon of cheesecake filling, and dust the pastries with the streusel (be generous as most of it will melt, or dissolve into the filling). Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.
Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then carefully remove each pastry from the pan and let them finish cooling on a wire baking rack.
TIP!: you can gently press into the dough to see if it’s done – if it springs back, it’s baked, if the dough sinks in – it’s not done baking yet!
And since these have cream cheese in them, I recommend refrigerating them in a covered container after they’ve cooled, and reheating on defrost in the microwave before serving. You can also freeze these in a gallon zip bag for up to 3 weeks. Reheat in the microwave on defrost as well.